Grove (36) vs. Buckingham (12)
Grove get their fist big win this season
(Posted on behalf of Martin Stalder)
After a narrow win away from home last week Grove were looking to progress with a good home performance against Buckingham.
Grove kicked off and immediately put the pressure on Buckingham.Bucks were pushed back, the ball came back to Grove Flyhalf Dave Johnson who chipped over the top and the Bucks defence knocked on.
The resulting 10 meter scrum saw the ball come out cleanly to the Grove 10 who slipped the ball back to winger Guy Nicholl who crashed through for a try under the posts. Henry Day converted so after 4 minutes Grove were 7-0 up.
From the restart Grove moved to within 5 meters of the Bucks line, however the ball was lost and now it was time to see the speed and handling of the Buckingham backs who ran the length of the pitch only for the ball to go into touch at the Grove 5 meter line.
Grove won their lineout and moved down the pitch to the Bucks 5 meter where again a knock on left Grove with a great attacking scrum opportunity. However, the scrum collapsed and from the resulting penalty Grove went 10-0 up.
The Game now became much more even with the play moving from one end of the pitch to the other with the Bucks backs always looking dangerous.
Eventually Grove won another scrum in the Bucks half and the ball moved from right to left and then back again with both backs and forwards involved, before the ball reached the wing where last minute replacement Huw Lewis took the ball and dived over for a try in the corner.The conversion was missed but Grove were now 15-0 up and looking strong.
The game continued in the same vein with each side attacking, until eventually with half time fast approaching Grove won another scrum. The ball was won and the backs moved it quickly out to one wing and then back to the other where Lewis again took the ball, weaved his way through the remaining Bucks defence and touched down under the posts making it easy for Henry Day to convert. Half time was called and Grove went in leading 22-0.
With the start of the second half it became clear Bucks were in no mood to let the game go and attacked strongly. Grove cleared from their line and forced their way back down the field.
With Grove 20 meters from the Bucks line the scrum half dummied the defenders for a great break only to be brought down 5 meters from the line, however as the 9 went down he managed a great offload to Dave Johnson who dived over for a try under the posts, again converted by Day. Grove 29-0 up.
Bucks now came back with a vengeance and after a superb driving maul scored a great try under the posts. However the kick was missed so Grove 29-Bucks 5. From the restart the Bucks backs were showing their speed and managed to break through on a couple of occasions only to be stopped by some great try saving tackles from Huw Lewis.
Grove eventually got back into the Bucks half and scrum half Joe Chilvers made another great break through the centre. He was brought down with only meters to go but managed to offload to Gustafson who was now playing at 10, who dived over for a try under the posts, converted by Henry Day. Grove 36 – Bucks 5. From the restart Bucks were back on the attack and with only 5 mins to go their backs put together a fine move that saw them going over for a try. This was converted and proved to be the final score of the game.
Overall the game was a great spectacle to watch and a lot of this can be laid at the door of the referee who had a great game. He was un-intrusive yet kept a firm hand on proceedings.
Grove man of the match was Huw Lewis.