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1st Team - Match centre

Grove
Wallingford
G Nicholl, H Carr (3), C Clare
Full time
R Sevier (3)
R Sevier
Sat 24 Sep 15:00 - South West Division - Southern Counties North

Grove (34) vs Wallingford (16)

<strong>Grove 1sts win again to preserve their unbeaten record and go back to top of the league</strong>

Grove won their third league match from three on Saturday with yet another good bonus point victory. This time their opponents were Wallingford who, last season, were playing in the division above.
Grove started very briskly with lock Paul Miles taking line-out ball cleanly for the backs and forwards to begin a move which involved particularly good attacking play from lock Steve Maryon and hooker Steve Dixey. Next, stand-in winger Guy Nicholl was unlucky not to score the opening try when he knocked on before reaching the line. Wallingford hit back with a big attack and Grove’s tackling from the backs proved a little weak. Fortunately it was then Wallingford’s turn to knock on. A penalty attempt at goal by Roger Sevier, awarded after a strong surge from centre Nick Sevier, was unsuccessful. Guy Nicholl then made amends for his earlier slip up when he did in fact score Grove’s first try following some beautiful running and passing between the half backs and centres. With the conversion missed Grove were 5 : 0 in the lead after 15 minutes. Following a bout of bad temper from both sides, Grove flanker Matt Young was sin binned and from the resultant long range penalty Wallingford narrowed the gap to 5 : 3. From this point Grove began to improve noticeably, stringing together some great attacks involving both forwards and backs and were finally rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts which Roger Sevier had no trouble converting to take the score to 8 : 3 with 25 minutes gone. The Grove forwards now showed their dominance with a tremendous drive upfield which ended with a super run from skipper and No. 8 Ben Nicholl but with no score. Ben Nicholl was then heavily involved in the next move which saw full back Chris Clare enter the line but this time with a try being scored by wing Harry Carr. The conversion from Roger Sevier took the score to 15 : 3 with 33 minutes having passed. Wallingford hit back with a long range but unsuccessful drop kick attempt. This was however followed with a successful penalty goal to take the score to 15 : 6. With half time looming Harry Carr scored his second try of the day following a Wallingford scrum which was superbly ‘wheeled’ by Grove’s pack for which Grove props Martyn Walsh and James Eckert have to take most credit. Roger Sevier’s conversion took the half time score to 22 : 6.
Grove immediately went on the attack with scrum half Owen Gustafson dancing through the defence before feeding Fly half Dave Maryon, the Sevier brothers and Guy Nicholl who popped the final pass to Chris Clare, supporting magnificently, who was able to touch down to secure the bonus point. Roger Sevier’s conversion put Grove out of sight at 29 : 6. Wallingford tried to come back but twice should have been punished when they showed signs of petulance, firstly by throwing the ball away, after the award of a penalty to Grove then by refusing to surrender the ball on the award of another penalty to Grove. Desperation appeared to be creeping into the Wallingford game as they next resorted to fly hacking the ball which was punished by Steve Dixey and Harry Carr having a great run. Next though it was Grove who showed indiscipline when Chris Clare rolled the ball away following the award of a penalty to Wallingford. The referee, no longer being lenient, yellow carded the very surprised looking full back. With penalties now coming thick and fast and Grove down to 14 men it was the visitors who now started to push into Grove territory and they very soon were able to score through prop Pat Wiltshire. With both Ben and Guy Nicholl tackling the prop as he crashed over the line he unfortunately then had to leave the field with a shoulder injury. The referee decided Ben Nicholl’s tackle was illegal and issued him with a yellow card before the conversion was taken and missed. The score now stood at 29 : 11 and with only thirteen men on the field Grove were staring down the Wallingford barrel! The game restarted with a penalty to Wallingford from the kick off and Grove brought on Hooker Dave Needham for prop Martyn Walsh whose place at prop was in turn taken by Steve Dixey. Despite their manpower shortage Grove forced their way back into Wallingford territory thanks particularly to good work by Needham. However this recovery couldn’t last and Wallingford narrowed the gap to 29 : 16 by exploiting a big overlap to score (unconverted) in the corner. Clare returned to the field and Grove now brought Jamie Burns on for Roger Sevier. With the return to 14 men Harry Carr suddenly delivered a lightening run to seal his hat trick for the day and the score moved to its final position of 34 : 16, centre Nick Sevier missing the conversion. Another big attack from Wallingford almost resulted in a good try but the ball was dropped by the attacker. Attacks continued from Wallingford but Carr in particular was outstanding in defence. Stewart Sherwood then came on for Grove in place of Ben Nicholl who had retired injured. Wallingford tried to attack again but great tackling from Matt Young and Chris Clare kept them at bay. More penalties were awarded to Wallingford in this increasingly physical encounter but they couldn’t capitalise and the game ended with Grove deserved winners and once again league leaders.

Key moments

15:00
Try Guy Nicholl scores for Grove
25:00
Penalty Roger Sevier kicks a penalty for Grove
33:00
Try Harry Carr scores for Grove
34:00
Conversion Roger Sevier kicks a conversion for Grove
38:00
Try Harry Carr scores for Grove
39:00
Conversion Roger Sevier kicks a conversion for Grove
45:00
Try Chris Clare scores for Grove
46:00
Conversion Roger Sevier kicks a conversion for Grove
60:00
Try Harry Carr scores for Grove
Replay game

As it happened

  • Grove
  • Wallingford
  • 0
  • Guy Nicholl Try 15:00'
  • Roger Sevier Penalty 25:00'
  • Harry Carr Try 33:00'
  • Roger Sevier Conversion 34:00'
  • Harry Carr Try 38:00'
  • Roger Sevier Conversion 39:00'
  • Chris Clare Try 45:00'
  • Roger Sevier Conversion 46:00'
  • Harry Carr Try 60:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other Southern Counties North results

Beaconsfield
37
14
8
17
Slough

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Beaconsfield 20 84
2. Milton Keynes 20 79
3. Windsor 20 79
4. Grove 20 73
5. Wootton Bassett 20 64
6. Aylesbury 20 40
7. Alchester 20 37

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