Grove (14) vs. Trowbridge (5)
Grove avenge previous defeat by Trowbridge earlier this season with a deserved win from a match where their forwards dominated.
The conditions for this match were pretty awful and slippery and initially there was little to choose between the teams although Trowbridge had much of the early pressure. This was relieved when No’8 Joe Bellinger made a fantastic break to pass to wing Guy Nicholl who took the ball the full length of the field. Nothing immediately came of this however as Grove’s new young scrum half Tom Wells went down with what appeared at the time to be a serious back injury. Play was halted and both teams left the field while an ambulance was called and play could be moved to the adjoining pitch.
Upon the resumption of play, Ben Nicholl came on at scrum half but it was once again younger brother Guy Nicholl who took the initiative and with some great individual skills chipped ahead and weaved his way through the Trowbridge defences to score between the posts. Centre Harry Carr converted to put Grove 7 : 0 up.
Trowbridge came back very strongly but Grove’s superb defences held strong until a penalty took them deep into Trowbridge territory and it was Guy Nicholl who again smashed his way to the visitor’s line for his second try of the day. This was again converted by Carr and Grove were really in the ascendancy at 14 : 0.
Trowbridge now really upped the pressure until a fine try was scored by centre Dave Finlay to take the score to 14 : 5 with no conversion being made and the first half ended shortly afterwards.
The second half proved to be a war of attrition between the sides with both attacking each other in determined fashion and with both sets of defences looking good. A penalty attempt by Carr for Grove was missed. Grove’s forwards were definitely gaining control, continuously driving their counterparts in the loose, sometimes at running pace. Towards the end injured Grove wing Huw Lewis was replaced by front row man Jimmy Wallbridge and Grove re-jigged the team to accommodate. Joe Bellinger was then very harshly yellow carded for an alleged high tackle but no further scoring took place and the half time score became the full time score.
The news of Tom Wells is that he was able to return home from hospital on Saturday night and although suffering from a lot of bruising should be OK to resume play in a couple of weeks.