<strong>1st team - Southern Counties (North) - Grove 39 : Slough 9</strong>
<strong>Great winning start to Grove's league season</strong>
Grove opened their league campaign with an emphatic win over newly promoted Slough at Cane Lane on Saturday and in the process went top of the league.
Grove elected to play against the very strong wind in the first half but nevertheless were the first team to almost score when fly half Roger Sevier was just nudged into touch before touching down. Slough’s heavy pack drove back and long wind assisted kicks gave Grove work to do. Roger Sevier again came close to scoring but the ball was recycled. New scrum half Owen Gustafson was now showing his pedigree and with the game 10 minutes old Sevier put Grove 3 : 0 ahead with a penalty kick. Slough hit back immediately with a penalty of their own and the game was tied at 3 : 3 with 12 minutes gone. Three minutes later Grove's forwards then asserted their authority resulting in a backs move which saw centre Dave Maryon slip a perfectly timed pass to flanker Joe Bellinger who ran through for Grove’s first try, converted by Sevier, to take the score to 10 : 3. Again Slough hit back with a brace of penalties, both superbly kicked by their No. 11, and the score was 10 : 9, with 27 minutes gone. With half time looming and Slough right on the Grove try line, captain and No. 8 for Grove, Ben Nicholl made a superb solo break out, running virtually the full length of the field. As he began to tire supporting full back Nick Sevier appeared and took the ball over the line for a great 2nd Grove try, converted by brother Roger. Another Roger Sevier penalty gave Grove a commanding 20 : 9 half time lead.
After about 10 minutes of the 2nd half Roger Sevier's penalty kick attempt was unlucky when the ball rebounded off the upright. After the resultant maul Slough’s No. 1 prop was yellow carded and before he could return a terrific Grove backs move saw Guy Nicholl, unusually playing on the left wing, glide over for an unconverted try, putting Grove 25 : 9 ahead. Grove next secured their bonus point when, following a terrific move involving virtually the whole team and particularly some very clever handling and support play by the backs, Roger Sevier was able to run in between the posts for the best worked try of the match. His conversion then put Grove out of sight at 32 : 9. Grove then made two substitutions with Jimmy Wallbridge replacing Martyn Walsh at prop and Carl Alder coming on at flank for lock Steve Maryon with Joe Bellinger moving to the lock position. Another superb move saw Guy Nicholl score his second and Grove’s last try which Sevier converted to produce the final score of 39 : 9.