Close contest sees Bicester just go down

RUGBY:

Bicester 11 8

Chesham 10

Chesham deserved to win this closely contested game if only because of their total ascendancy in the scrummages where they disrupted their opponents at least six times, aside from shunting the Bicester pack backwards on many occasions.

However, Bicester were well served by locks Simon Griffin and Mark Malins in the line-outs, while flanker Jake Sawyer was a workhorse in midfield.

Though Chesham dominated territory and possession, especially in the first half, Bicester tackled resolutely, with Griffin, Craig Smith, Jason Smith, Tom Bass and replacement full-back Chad Ward all staging timely big hits.

With conditions adverse to open running rugby,scoring opportunities were few and far between.

Against the run of play, Bicester went ahead after 11 minutes after good play by scrum-half Craig Smith, Chesham infringed at a ruck and fly-half Chris Tarratt neatly slotted over a 30-metre penalty.

Ten minutes later Bicester increased their advantage to eight points with an excellent try. From a lineout on the left, Chad Ward, who had replaced Matt Lambourne (hamstring) fed veteran winger Tony Burrow, who made the ball available for centre Tom Bass to sweep in for an unconverted try.

Chesham almost worked a try on the right, but Jake Sawyer intercepted the final pass.

Early in the second half, the visitors again went close on the left but Bicester won a turnover and fly-half Tarratt cleared his lines into touch. Then a superb tackle by Tom Bass on Chesham winger Olly Jaycocks prevented a certain try on the right.

Fifteen minutes from the final whistle, Chesham scored their first try. From a line-out on the left side, they drove powerfully to the line with no 8 Dom Marshall touching down.

Next Mark Malins was yellow-carded for handling in a ruck and the visitors took full advantage of Bicester’s loss when full-back Steve Morris darted across from a scrum on the right hand side.

Last Saturday Bicester III were beaten 43-10 at Marlow III. Jake Holsworth scored two tries for Bicester.

Bicester Colts gained a walkover in the National Colts Plate third round.

This Saturday Bicester travel to Gosford All Blacks, while Bicester II entertain Beaconsfield II. Bicester III host Maidenhead IV.