RUGBY UNION: Norris completes Oxon's comeback

Oxfordshire’s Zac Norris forces his way over for the winning try against Dorset & Wilts

Oxfordshire’s Zac Norris forces his way over for the winning try against Dorset & Wilts

First published in Sport

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD

ZAC Norris’s late try earned Oxfordshire a 29-26 victory over Dorset & Wilts at Witney RFC and sealed their progress into the semi-finals.

Oxon needed just a point to top Pool 3 and clinch a last-four spot, but they qualified with a 100 per cent record thanks to 14 unanswered points in the last ten minutes.

Head coach Craig Burrows’s side will now host Surrey in the semi-finals at Grove RFC on Saturday, with a Twickenham final on Sunday, June 1 at stake.

Oxfordshire started slowly and were always playing catch-up until replacement fly half Norris (Oxford Harlequins) forced his way over on 79 minutes.

Flanker Dave Wells (Grove) scored Oxon’s only try in the first half, while fly half Matt Clarke (Witney) finished off a good move in the second period.

Clarke converted his own try and added a penalty, but Dorset looked set for victory when they led 26-15.

A try from replacement scrum half Joe Chilvers (Grove) gave the hosts hope on 70 minutes, with Clarke converting.

And they had more to celebrate when Clarke, who had moved to centre, converted Norris’s winning try.

“It wasn’t very pretty, but we got it done,” said Burrows.

“Possibly some of the guys were a bit over confident and thought it would be a formality.

“In the first half, we just didn’t stick to the game plan and were looking to off-load too much.

“We gifted them field position and territory.

“The second half was a bit better, but certainly not as good as the performance against Berkshire.

“There is a lot we need to work on before Saturday.”

OXFORDSHIRE’S shirts this season are being sponsored by the Jim Douglas Memorial Fund.

The fund was set up in memory of the Harwell player, who died suddenly five years ago.

It was the family’s wish to support Oxfordshire rugby and put the fund’s logo on the shirts’ sleeves.

The county side facing Dorset contained three players Douglas had coached in youth rugby at Grove alongside his son Rob – Joe Bellinger, Tom Clipsham and Steve Dixey.

Latest Sport news

Stewart Donald invests more than £500k to buy Oxford United stake

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

OXFORD United have received a major financial injection with lifelong supporter Stewart Donald set to acquire a ten per cent stake in the club.

RACING: Victoria Pendleton excited ahead of first competitive action

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 2nd July 2015

VICTORIA Pendleton admits she is struggling to contain her excitement ahead of her first public appearance in a horse racing saddle.

BOWLS: City triples seal national championship spot

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

TWO women’s triples from Oxford City & County have qualified for the National Championships at Leamington Spa in August.

BAR BILLIARDS: Democrats earn draw in opener

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

7:20am Thursday 2nd July 2015

West Oxford Democrats Club started their OBBA Summer League campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw with Berinsfield Club in Group A, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: May and Watts to fly Oxon flag for Under 25s

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

7:10am Thursday 2nd July 2015

DEAN May and Sam Watts will represent Oxfordshire in the National U25 Singles Championship at Leamington Spa.

BOWLS: Headington strengthen grip on top flight table

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

HEADINGTON continued their relentless progress towards yet another Division 1 title in the Oxfordshire Bowls League, sponsored by Bridle Insurance.

ATHLETICS: James Bolton and Sophie Carter shine at Thame

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

Woodstock Harriers’ James Bolton missed out on the Thame 10K title by just five seconds.

ATHLETICS: Captain Ben Claridge driven by memory of home Olympics

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

After watching on from the stands at London 2012, rising star Ben Claridge has set his sights on becoming an Olympian.

RUGBY UNION: Henley happy to feed off success

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

Pete Davies says Henley Hawks have used promotion to their advantage in attracting new players, rather than dig deep into their pockets.

George Baldock buzzing at Oxford United return

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015

GEORGE Baldock described the decision join Oxford United as a “no-brainer” given the determination the club had shown to bring him back.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree