Risbridger orchestrates Bicester comeback

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BICESTER 2nd XV bounced back from 12-3 down to beat Wallingford 26-17 in a high-quality match.

Wallingford’s incisive backs had the edge in the early stages but their cutting edge was was blunted by the strong Bicester pack.

Wallingford struggled in both the scrums and the loose play while Bicester scrum half and man of the match Steve Risbridger used the home side’s good possession well to keep the visiting defence under pressure with a stream of tactical kicking.

Wallingford managed only one conversion from their three tries while Bicester’s fly-half James Blake superbly kicked three lone-range penalties as well as a conversion.

But it was Wallingford who began quickly as they attacked down the left side before Mark Mackenzie crossed with Glen Dearlove converting.

A Wallingford knock-on then presented Blake with a 45-metre penalty chance that he converted.

However, the visitors responded straight away and went further clear through Frazer Hunt.

Then followed a period of intense Bicester pressure that eventually saw Dave Aslett go on a 20-metre sprint to the try line after some quick inter-passing by the backs.

On the stroke of half time, Blake stroked another fine penalty through the posts from near the touch-line.

Bicester began the second half on the front foot and scored as a result when Risbridger’s delicate chip was successfully chased by Aslett, who touched down for his second try.

Once Blake again converted well from out wide, Bicester got another try as Freddie Everitt raced over for an unconverted score.

Blake then missed a 35-metre penalty but he quickly made amends with another towering 40-metre effort to give Bicester a commanding 14-point lead.

However, Wallingford had the last say – snaffling a Bicester line-out for fly-half John Collett to score.

This weekend, Bicester’s first team are away to Chippng Norton while the seconds play Alchester and the thirds host Maidenhead.