Bicester secure first win of the season

Matt Duncalf touching down for one of his three tries against Alchester. Picture by Jake McNulty
Matt Duncalf touching down for one of his three tries against Alchester. Picture by Jake McNulty

Bicester clinched their first win of the season with a bonus-point victory over local rivals Alchester in Southern Counties North.

The home side overwhelmed Alchester by six tries to two thanks to a massive effort by their forwards, led by Man of the Match Will Anns, as Bicester’s far greater physicality, superior set piece and finishing power proved too much for the visitors with four tries coming from their outstanding scrummage.

Winger Matty Duncalf scored a hat-trick of tries in the first half, while flanker Tim Farrow bagged two in the second period as Bicester climbed up the table to ninth ahead of this weekend’s visit to leaders Aylesbury.

Tom Miles’ early penalty had Alchester ahead but the lead didn’t last long as a Bicester penalty was kicked into touch and a tremendous burst down the centre ended with Dave Hampton putting Duncalf across in the right corner.

Following a missed penalty from Miles, Bicester increased their lead when the same combination of Hampton and Duncalf saw the latter cross for his second try, this time converted by Spencer to put the hosts into a 12-3 lead.

Then, from another line-out, Duncalf cut a diagonal line to the left of the posts for his hat-trick try that put his side into a commanding position, although the visitors cut the deficit to 19-8 at the half-time interval.

Eight minutes into the second period, a 42-metre penalty kick by Miles reduced the gap further, but Alchester winger Esava Rakacikaci was then sin-binned and when Bicester heeled an Alchester scrum against the head, blind side flanker Tim Farow ploughed across with Spencer adding the conversion points.

Fifteen minutes from the end, a rampant Bicester struck again. Following a penalty, their forwards drove on from a line-out on the left until the ball was transferred into the centre, where Mike Harris combined with Steve Miller and centre James Grosvenor, to send Miller across to the right of the posts for an unconverted try.

Straightaway, as Alchester infringed at a Bicester scrum, Josh Young fired a beautifully weighted penalty kick into touch, close to the right hand corner, and Farrow rumbled across from the line-out for his second try.

Finally Bicester, for once, transgressed at a scrum and Alchester were quick to spin the ball out wide for Meli Rakacikaci to touch down in the left corner. The conversion attempt hit the right post.

Elsewhere, Bicester IIs lost 30-15 to Grove IIs and the IIIs were heavily beaten 57-7 by Abingdon IIs.