Grove 24 Swindon 31 Saturday 13th March 2010
Grove build a mountain to climb and don't quite reach the summit.
As is now becoming a home tradition Grove managed to go a long way behind in the first half only to claw most of the
points back in the second half but not enough to secure a victory. To be fair Swindon played the better rugby in the
first half and were deservedly in the lead at half time but it was largely Grove's indiscipline and errors that caused the half
time score to be as high as it was in Swindon's favour. Grove's lock James Kerr was yellow carded shortly after the
start of the game for apparently killing the ball in a scrum and the referee also awarded a penalty try to Swindon for the
transgression. With the successful conversion Grove were 0 : 7 down and reduced to 14 men. Shortly after Grove were
awarded a penalty but fly half Roger Sevier's attempt to kick the points went wide. Scrum half Nick Hayes, playing
advantage, attempted a drop goal but this was missed and Sevier was then unlucky when the resultant penalty kick from
the touchline hit the upright and rebounded into play. Swindon's full back was next on the scorecard when a lack of Grove
defence allowed him to run through and touch down for 0 : 12 but the conversion attempt was missed. Sevier's third attempt
at a penalty was successful and the score changed to 3 : 12. Flankers Jamie Fredericks and Guy Nicholl along with centres
Jamie Burns and Nick Sevier for Grove all had good runs at Swindon but no scoring resulted. Following a period of forwards
pressure from Swindon they once again scored when a missed tackle at the base of the scrum allowed the attacker through
for a relatively easy try. Swindon's fly half converted for 3 :19 and immediately Swindon struck again when a massive gap
between Grove's outside centre and wing was run through by one of the Swindon centre's for a really soft try and Grove
were virtually out of it at 3 : 24, the conversion attempt being missed. Swindon continued to throw the ball about well and
even though Grove won penalties the resultant lines-out were generally lost. The Swindon forwards were now definitely dominating
their counterparts but Grove were beginning to show signs of a fightback with strong attacks from Ben Nicholl and Nick
Sevier but the half time score remained at 3 : 24. At half time Grove's Jon North replaced veteran prop Peter Mack,
Paul Miles replaced Jon Chapman at lock and Nick Sevier swapped his inside centre position with full back Ashley Lane.
Grove immediately attacked and were rewarded when flanker Guy Nicholl went on a great solo run to score. The relatively
straightforward conversion attempt was unexpectedly missed by Roger Sevier and the score was now 8 : 24. It was then
Nick Sevier who went on a terrific solo mazy run from within his own half only for the ball to be knocked on following the
pass that should have lead to a Grove try. For Swindon their No. 8 was beginning to stand out as having a very good game.
Sadly Guy Nicholl had to leave the field permanently after a bad accidental clash of heads with the Swindon scrum half being
replaced by Jimmy Wallbridge. Grove were now pressing hard and were rewarded when Jamie Fredericks smashed his way
over and Roger Sevier converted to take the score to 15 : 24 and their was a glimmer of hope for the home side. Swindon
had a player yellow carded and Grove continued to improve with good attacks from Hayes and hooker Ed Church their
reward coming in the form of a penalty which Roger Sevier slotted to take the score to 18 : 24 and Grove were within a
single try of taking the lead. This all fizzled however when scrum half Nick Hayes tried to clear his lines when under pressure
at a scrum. His kick was charged down and pounced on by Swindon for another try to the opposition which was also converted
to take the score to 18 : 31. Swindon stormed back through their No. 8 but he was held up by Jon North and they were
unable to score. Jamie Fredericks was then yellow carded for not binding properly but after a long period of Swindon pressure
Roger Sevier relieved the pressure with a long touch kick and then Ben Nicholl launched a terrific solo attack from half way
and ran over for a try in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed and the final score of 24 : 31 had been reached.
Unfortunately for Grove they continued to attack but had run out of time and yet again the mountain Grove had given themselves to climb proved just too high.
Grove team : T Eltham, E Church, P Mack, J Chapman, J Kerr, J Fredericks, G Nicholl, B Nicholl, N Hayes, G Hudson, J Burns, N Sevier, T Harrington, A Lane
Reps Miles, J North, J Wallbridge
Scorers : Tries: G Nicholl, B Nicholl, J Fredericks, Convs: R Sevier 1, Pens: R Sevier 2