RUGBY: Bicester’s backs were in outstanding form last Saturday as they swept aside Phoenix 63-10 away.
Man of the match and centre Dave Hampton bagged a hat-trick of tries and no 8 Dan Spencer chipped in with a brace in the nine-try romp, while outside half Steve Risbridger added six conversions.
Bicester opened the scoring after three minutes when Dan Spencer finished off some strong driving off a scrum by the forwards to cross under the posts for a converted try.
Seven minutes later Risbridger slotted over a 15-metre penalty kick before Phoenix outside half Will Ballantyne fluffed a 25 metre shot. Good forward pressure earned the home side another penalty which this time Ballantyne banged over from 15 metres.
Immediately Risbridger replied in kind to restore Bicester’s lead. A fine take in the line-out by flanker Chris Clayton then set up Dave Hampton’s first try, which Risbridger converted. Further powerful driving off a scrum by the forwards enabled Risbridger and centre Jak Cluness to put lock Will Morris over for a converted try to the right of the posts.
Next, from another scrum, Dan Spencer sped 30 metres down the left side for an unconverted try to give his side a 32-3 half time advantage.
Fifteen minutes into the second period Bicester won a Phoenix scrum against the head and Craig Smith combined with Hampton and full back Adam Spencer before Hampton put supporting winger Dave Aslett across on the right for another unconverted try. Then from a quick burst down the left by Adam Spencer, Risbridger kicked a penalty into touch and as the pack drove off the line-out Smith touched down wide out in the corner.
Phoenix however refused to lie down and from a line-out on the right inside centre James Richardson sprinted to the posts for a try, which Ballantyne converted. Bicester then won two scrums and two penalties before Risbridger drilled a third penalty into touch on the right. From the line-out Jak Cluness rattled off through the centre to send Hampton across for a converted try.
Straightaway Hampton bolted all the way to the tryline from near halfway to record his hat-trick. Risbridger again converted and just five minutes from the end the ubiquitous Hampton put replacement Rob Arthur over for a converted try following good work by winger Dickie Walsh.
>>Bicester 1sts host Hungerford at home this Saturday, while the 2nds travel to Gosford All Blacks 2nds. Bicester 3rds host Grove 3rds.
>>Last Saturday Bicester 2nds gained a walkover against Amersham & Chiltern 3rds and in a subsequent friendly against Brackley 2nds they won 16-6, Freddie Everitt scoring a try, with a conversion by James Blake and three penalties by him.