Gosford All Blacks 21
Another accomplished performance by the Bicester backs division was enough to see off the challenge of a lively and determined Gosford All Blacks outfit.
Winger Jamie Bruce-Crampton, from Radley College, scored two tries on his debut for the first team, while man of the match Dan Spencer bagged a hat-trick of tries as well as three conversions.
Six minutes after the break Bicester scored their fifth try to lead 33-0 but Gosford then bounced back to reduce their arrears to 17 points with three converted tries before Bruce-Crampton crossed for the second time right at the end.
The visitors certainly had their share of territory and possession as can be seen from the penalty count which they won 13-8 but much of the Bicester handling was straight out of the top drawer, while their forwards won three Gosford scrums in each half.
A failed 25 metre penalty attempt by Gosford preceded Bicester’s first try after 12 minutes. Bicester lost their own lineout ball on the left, but the ball ricocheted off a Gosford player for Dan Spencer to pick up and scamper across for an unconverted try.
A Gosford scrum was then wheeled and from the ensuing Bicester scrum, Spencer linked with scrum half Craig Smith to send Bruce-Crampton past a phalanx of Gosford defenders to cross wide out.
The scrummage was then shunted backwards to the tryline and from the Bicester five metre scrum Spencer touched down again. He also converted both tries. Moments into the second half, half backs Craig Smith and Steve Risbridger combined with centre Jak Cluness to send wing Dave Aslett careering under the posts. Risbridger converted and straightaway a scintillating break by centre Dave Hampton ended with lock Will Morris crossing under the posts for a try which Spencer converted from the touchline.
Then a miscued drop-out kick by Risbridger was gathered by Gosford centre Chris Bennett, who put fellow centre James Barrett across for a try converted by full-back Tim Ellis.
Next flanker Anthony Nightingale’s fine break from a Bicester scrum was continued by Morris before Spencer evaded several tacklers to claim his hat-trick of tries.
Gosford then exerted good pressure on the left, before a crossfield move ended with skipper Ellis touching down on the right for a try. Ellis converted both this one and his side’s third try moments later, when outside half Harry Sutton sent prop Tony Baughan over the line.
Bicester however had the final say in this exciting end-to-end contest when replacement winger Tom Cook pounced on a loose ball near halfway on the right before combining well with Risbridger to put Bruce-Crampton across in the corner for an unconverted try.
There is no league rugby this weekend, but a Bicester XV travel to play a Buckingham XV tomorrow for the annual Kirk Nokes memorial game at Maids Moreton.
>>Bicester 2nds were 15-10 winners at Thatcham 2nds last Saturday. James Blake scored five penalties. Bicester 3rds beat Harwell 2nds 52-10. Try scorers were Matt Duncalf (3), Granville Williams (2), Stuart John (2), Ian Jolliff. Conversions S John (5), Matt Prew 1.
This game was played as a friendly because Bicester 3rds could not field a front row. Harwell 2nds receive the league points.