Gutsy Bicester put up brave display against Alchester

Alchester 36

Bicester 12

Despite a gutsy performance by Bicester, Alchester were worthy winners of this local derby in Oxford.

The ball carrying skills and support play of the home forwards were outstanding, while both backs and forwards gelled impressively as a creative force.

Bicester under constant pressure from Alchester’s lively pack in the first half did well to turn round only 24-12 in arrears and so the scoreline remained in a more evenly contested second half until five minutes from time when Alchester added two more tries.

The visitors won the penalty count 20-11 but this advantage was counterbalanced by a woeful performance in the line-outs where they lost their own throw 11 times.

The Bicester scrum wobbled at times also and 17 Alchester points were scored as a direct consequence of basic setpiece errors by the visitors.

Bicester were ahead just one minute from the start as Dickie Walsh recycled good ruck ball on the left into the centre for Steve Risbridger to send Dave Aslett down the right. He was halted but from the quick tap penalty which followed Dan Spencer stretched acrass in the corner, Risbridger converting from the touchline.

Five minutes later Alchester heeled a Bicester scrum against the head and centre Tom Miles slotted over a 20-metre penalty. Bicester then infringed at an Alchester line-out from a quick penalty move and prop Sean Cooke battered his way to the posts for another converted try.

Next Alchester stole Bicester line-out possession and the ball was spread wide before Cooke plunged across for his second try, Miles again converting.Seven minutes from half time Risbridger drilled a penalty kick with pinpoint precision into the right hand corner and prop Alex Benjamin stretched over for Bicester’s second try.

Immediately after the break, Miles was off target with a 20-metre penalty for Alchester and soon afterwards Jak Cluness was unsuccessful with a drop-goal attempt for Bicester.

Five minutes from full time a tremendous burst by Alchester’s McAneaney through the centre ended with wing Andy Blacklock touching down wide-out on the left.

Finally Alchester heeled another Bicester scrum against the head and the ball was worked across the field for full-back Simon Read to cross on the right, Miles converting.

>> Bicester II were beaten 80-17 at home by High Wycombe. Bicester’s try scorers were J.Horwood, F.Everitt, J.Holdsworth. Conversion by James Blake.

>>Bicester I travel to Phoenix this Saturday, while Bicester III entertain High Wycombe III. Bicester Colts travel to Bracknell Colts this sunday.