<strong>Windsor (29) vs. Grove (10)</strong>
Depleted Grove 1st's lose unbeaten record to Windsor!
An understrength Grove side went down to Windsor on Saturday thus losing their unbeaten league record this year. Grove were missing Ben Nicholl (Captain, injured), Steve Maryon (lock, not available), Owen Gustafson (scrum half, not available), Roger Sevier (fly half, injured), Tom Harrington (wing, injured) and Chris Clare (full back, not available).
Despite their regular player shortages it was Grove who, against the run of play, went ahead after 9 minutes when wing Harry Carr intercepted a wayward Windsor pass and ran the full length of the field to score between the posts. Nick Sevier’s conversion put Grove 0 : 7 ahead. Most of the rest of the half though belonged to Windsor who attacked Grove immediately and were unlucky to have a try disallowed after 11 minutes. Grove conceded a number of turnovers and lost lineouts and after 20 minutes Windsor were deservedly on the scoresheet when the ball was moved along their line for a score in the corner. The conversion being missed meant Grove retained the lead at 5 : 7. This only lasted for another 15 minutes because Windsor then slotted a penalty to go 8 : 7 up. Further pressure from Windsor caused a catalogue of Grove errors until the visitors were pushed over their own try line only for the touchdown attempt to be adjudged as ‘held up’. An apparently certain try for Windsor was then disallowed when their No. 8 dropped the ball before touching down. The half time score was thus close at 8 : 7 but this in no way reflected the nature of the game to that point with Grove not looking like league leaders at all.
Grove started the second half brightly with a good break out from the base of the scrum by No. 8 Joe Bellinger but as soon as the move went to ground Grove again conceded a turn over. Windsor attacked and Grove then lost another of their own lines out. Dave Needham then replaced the injured Steve Dixey at hooker. Grove were unlucky not to regain the lead when a long range penalty attempt from fly half Nick Sevier just went wide. Another Grove line out was then lost and Mark Tugwell came on at lock to replace James Field-Price. Flanker Carl Alder and Bellinger were now starting to deliver good work for Grove but another turned over ball lead to the Windsor wing delivering a fine run which ended with a chip over Gareth Hudson, débuting at full back, for the home player to gather and touch down between the posts. The conversion put Windsor 15 : 7 ahead. Harry Carr finished a big attack from Grove by also chipping over the last defender but unfortunately the bounce did not favour him and the ball went dead. Grove hopes were then raised when Sevier smashed over a very long range penalty to take the score to 10 : 15. A series of driving mauls from Windsor and missed tackles by Grove took the hosts back to the visitors try line where they neatly touched down for a 10 : 22 lead, following the successful conversion. Grove now finally began to come to life with a series of good attacks but without reward and with yet another turnover and other bad mistakes it was Windsor who scored the final converted try for a 10 : 29 victory. Although the last ten minutes saw Grove pressure the Windsor line continuously they could not break through.