Bicester beaten by clinical Phoenix

Action from Bicester against Princes Risborough
Action from Bicester against Princes Risborough

Bicester 1st XV suffered a 22-14 defeat to a clinical Phoenix side in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier at the weekend.

In an evenly-contested game, Bicester competed well up front but their backs lacked co-ordination and direction in midfield and out wide.

The visitors took the lead with a try eight minutes from half time, but the turning point came a few minutes later when Bicester scrum half Mike Harris was sin binned, allowing Phoenix to score twice either side of half time and leave the home side trailing by a margin that proved too much to comeback from.

Early on, Dan Spencer went close after Bicester had stolen a scrum against the head, while the visitors were twice held up on the try line, before the breakthrough came when Phoenix won a Bicester scrum and Thomas Pell crossed on the right for an unconverted try.

On the stroke of half time, from a line-out on the left, the visitors transferred the ball into the middle where centre David MacMillan sprinted across for a try that was converted by fly half Kieran Roche.

At the start of the second half, as Bicester attacked first down the centre and then out wide, the visitors intercepted a loose Bicester pass and raced away for a third try that opened up a commanding 17-point lead.

With Harris now back on the field, Bicester posed more of an attacking threat and had opportunities to reduce the arrears but it was Phoenix who increased their lead through outside centre Chris Varey, who crossed for a try on the right.

A yellow card for the visitors allowed more space for Bicester and from a quick burst by Craig Smith, they were awarded a penalty from which Michael Harris jinked his way over for a try which Steve Risbridger brilliantly converted, before flanker Niall Morrow scampered across for another converted try to give the final scoreline a more respectable look to it.

Bicester IIs and IIIs also suffered defeats at the weekend, losing to Windsor 50-19 and Aylesbury 88-0 respectively.

This weekend Bicester host Chipping Norton in the first round of the Oxon Shield.