Beaconsfield (29) vs. Grove (7)
By John Sevier
Grove lose last game of the season and finish in 6th place.
A Grove 1st team squad, ravaged by injuries to key players, travelled to Beaconsfield for the last league match of the season and were perhaps not unexpectedly beaten by a side who played slick rugby on the day and who thoroughly deserved their win. The smooth passage of the match was not helped however by some of the most appalling and inept refereeing seen this season. Forward passes, knock ons, players going over the top and offside's from both teams abounded throughout the match with a considerable number of such offences going unpunished by the referee.
Although Grove played well in patches, with their forwards often dominating their counterparts, it was the quick and accurate passing and handling by the Beaconsfield backs that won the day. Grove's only real consolation being a second half interception try, cleverly taken by wing Harry Carr who collected the ball, chipped over the full back, collected again from the bounce and scored between the posts for fly half Roger Sevier to easily convert. Prior to that hooker Jon North had come close to scoring in the first half after a neat, supporting crossfield run, only to be stopped just short of the line. At half time the score stood at 17 : 0 to the hosts.
In the second half Beaconsfield lost their hooker to a yellow card for a late tackle when in fact their scrum half should have been red carded for blatant stamping and Grove lost flanker Guy Nicholl to a red card for what appeared to be an accidental kick to a Beaconsfield player as the Grove man was being bowled over from a tackle. Despite the final result Grove's flankers James Kerr and Guy Nicholl, before he was cruelly dismissed, and stand-in lock Jamie Fredericks were all outstanding. Towards the end Grove lost scrum half Jonny Simmonds to a badly dislocated thumb and substitutes Nathan Brooks, Paul Harpwood and Ady Amies all came on as replacements.
Footnotes : Harry Carr's try secured him as the club's top try scorer with 21 for the season and Roger Sevier's conversion took him to a season's personal best and a final tally of 237 points to make him the 1st team and the club's top points scorer.
Relative newcomer Luke Faircloth secured the 2nd team season's most points award with a personal haul of 18 points from Grove's 2nd team 38 : 17 win over Thatcham 2nds.