Chipping Norton (12) vs. Grove (38)
Ring rusty Grove get another bonus point win.
Looking like a team who had not played together for the last seven weeks, Grove managed a reasonable performance to beat Chipping Norton 12 : 38 on Saturday.
The first score was to Grove when, after 5 minutes, winger Harry Carr sped down the right and having drawn his man fed the ball to supporting captain and centre Nick Sevier who was able to then score easily between the posts, Roger Sevier converting. Almost immediately Chippy struck back with a fine try in the corner, superbly converted to level the scores at 7 : 7. Within 30 seconds of the restart Grove went back into the lead when lock Paul Miles superbly took the kick off ball and charged down the field. The ball was then quickly spun through the hands of No. 8 Jamie Fredericks, fly half Jamie Burns, Nick Sevier and Harry Carr for the winger to touch down in the corner, putting Grove 7 : 12 up. Fighting hard, Chippy came back at Grove with their right wing impressing with his speed and it was only some desperate tackling that kept him from scoring. A relatively simple penalty kick attempt at the posts was missed by the Chippy kicker and it was Grove who came back strongly with some big attacks from which flanker Guy Nicholl, scrum half Roger Sevier and centre Joe Bellinger stood out. Chippy's right winger again struck back at Grove and was only stopped from a probable score by a great covering tackle from Guy Nicholl. Grove's young full back Chris Clare re-launched Grove with a fine run down the middle of the park. Following more adventurous play by Grove, left wing Tom Harrington seemed certain to score out wide but with the try line at his mercy mysteriously cut back inside to the forwards and was caught. Thankfully he was able to get the ball away to Nick Sevier who wasted no time touching down between the posts for his second try. Roger Sevier's conversion took the half time score to 7 : 19.
The second half started with flanker Stewart Sherwood showing good skills, driving his team forward but Chippy kept up spirited defence until Jamie Burns collected the ball from his scrum half and went on a characteristically superb solo run to score the best try of the day, which also secured the bonus point for Grove. Roger Sevier's conversion put Grove out of sight at 7 : 26. Gareth Hudson and Simon Peel now replaced Tom Harrington and Stewart Sherwood respectively. Somewhat against the run of play Chippy suddenly stormed into Grove and scored a good try in the corner but with the conversion missed the score moved to 12 : 26. Grove came straight back with Harry Carr appearing to score a perfectly good try in the corner although the result was a penalty against him for a double movement and a yellow card for one of the Chippy flankers for illegally attacking Carr on the ground! Another great opportunity for Grove to score was then lost when Hudson dropped the ball with the try line beckoning. Grove kept up the pressure however and following a dive for the line by Roger Sevier it was prop Richard Keen who secured a further 5 points for Grove. The conversion by Sevier took the score to 12 : 33. Jon North now substituted for injured No. 8 Jamie Fredericks and despite a last minute attack from Chippy where they committed 13 players to a maul it was Grove who had the last say when Harry Carr danced his way over the line and scored his second try in the corner. With the conversion missed the final score of 12 : 38 was reached although this has been incorrectly recorded as 12 : 36.