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1st Team - Match centre

Newbury Stags
G Nicholl, H Carr, Steve Dixey
R Sevier (2)
R Sevier
Sat 5 Feb 14:15 - South West Division - Southern Counties North Full time

Grove's promotion hopes kept alive with an avenging home win against Newbury Stags

Saturday 5th February 2011 - Grove (22) vs. Tadley (5)

Despite a very strong backing wind Grove were only able to build a 10 : 5 lead by half time. Fearing this would not be enough, given no abatement to the strength of the wind in the second half, Grove nevertheless were able to extend their lead to 22 : 5 and so clinch victory in this game which, given their promotional aspirations, was a desperately important match to win. Sadly they were not able to gain the bonus point for scoring four or more tries.
Grove gained an advantage after 5 minutes when flanker Guy Nicholl, brought in to the starting lin-up at the last moment for unavailable Jamie Fredericks, scored a superb try following his long run down the wing which included a great dummy pass to fool the opposition. Scrum half Roger Sevier converted to provide a 7 : 0 lead and followed this with a penalty after 20 minutes to take Grove to 10 : 0. Previous to this, centres Joe Bellinger and Ashley Lane plus fly half Nick Sevier, full back Chris Clare and wings Harry Carr and Gareth Hudson had all delivered great attacking thrusts to no avail although an attempted touch down was adjudged to have been ‘held up’. Prop Jimmy Wallbridge was lucky not to be temporarily dismissed after a flare up from which he emerged with fists flailing but both he and flanker James Kerr along with lock Stewart Sherwood were also responsible for some very strong attacks into Newbury territory. Unfortunately some far too adventurous passing moves, given the windy conditions, generally brought these attacks to an end. To their credit Newbury were able to push Grove back to their own try line and eventually they were awarded a penalty after which their lock was able to blast over for an unconverted try with 5 minutes of the half remaining. Grove continued to make too many mistakes but the half ended with no more scoring despite more good runs from hooker Jon North and Joe Bellinger.
Shortly after the start of the second half Nick Sevier had to leave the field with an injury to his Achilles tendon and his fly half position was taken by brother Roger who in turn was replaced at scrum half by Grove debutante Jonny Simmonds. At the same time Jimmy Wallbridge was replaced by Steve Dixey. Simmonds immediately went off on a solo attack but was stopped short. Chris Clare put in a good cross-field run but then blotted his copy book by knocking on a difficult catch from a huge Newbury clearance kick. Despite this, Grove recovered, especially from a superb clearance kick to touch from Roger Sevier which bounced off a Newbury defender to give Grove the put in at the line out. Before the line out could take place however play was brought to a halt following a bad injury to one of the Newbury players who sadly had to be ambulanced to hospital. This in turn necessitated a move to the adjoining pitch in order to continue the game but this to some extent played into Grove’s hands as the wind was not so strong, given some shielding from the pitch side trees. The restart was marked by a tremendous break out run by lock Paul Miles and Grove were clearly speeding up and improving despite penalty after penalty being awarded to Newbury. Newbury did manage to drive Grove back to their try line but were unable to touch down. At this point Ashley Lane was replaced at centre by Jamie Burns and his presence seemed to immediately lift the whole Grove side. Prop Tim Lane lead the recovery with a great driving run up the park, taken up by Jon North and then Burns. This was followed by Steve Dixey charging ahead and with Burns again taking up the cudgels it looked certain that Grove were going to score again but the ball was fumbled at the last second. A desperate clearance kick by Newbury was beautifully charged down by Clare and with ball being speedily fed by Sevier to Carr the winger was able to zoom over the line following a dive roll as he was tackled on the way. The difficult conversion into the wind by Sevier put Grove 17 : 5 ahead. Grove continued to press hard despite further numerous penalties against them. Burns again shone in the attacks and enabled Grove to force their way back to the Newbury line. Jon North and No. 8 Jon Chapman were both prominent in ensuing attacks and eventually Joe Bellinger was able to touch down although the try was disallowed with the referee adjudging the Grove player to have gone into touch. This didn’t matter too much however as immediately Steve Dixey was able to gather and drive from the resulting line out and blast over for an undisputed try to put Grove out of sight at 22 : 5. Play restarted with a terrific kick off catch from Stewart Sherwood but with the referee now awarding penalties virtually non-stop to Newbury Grove could not progress further upfield. Eventually Paul Miles was yellow carded but it was too late for Newbury to capitalise and the game ended with Grove deservedly winning despite some very average play in the first half and a referee who looked like he had completely turned against the home side.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

Key moments

Try Guy Nicholl scores for Grove
Conversion Roger Sevier kicks a conversion for Grove
Penalty Roger Sevier kicks a penalty for Grove
Try Harry Carr scores for Grove
Conversion Roger Sevier kicks a conversion for Grove
Try Steve Dixey scores for Grove
Replay game

As it happened

  • Grove
  • Newbury Stags
  • 0
  • Guy Nicholl Try 5:00'
  • Roger Sevier Conversion 6:00'
  • Roger Sevier Penalty 25:00'
  • Harry Carr Try 55:00'
  • Roger Sevier Conversion 56:00'
  • Steve Dixey Try 70:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other Southern Counties North results

Chipping Norton


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Swindon 22 94
2. Aylesbury 22 84
3. Wootton Bassett 22 81
4. Milton Keynes 22 79
5. Beaconsfield 22 69
6. Grove 22 67
7. Windsor 22 49

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