RUGBY: Oxfordshire's Twickenham dream in tatters

Guy Nicholl touches down for Oxfordshire's second try

Guy Nicholl touches down for Oxfordshire's second try

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

OXFORDSHIRE’S Twickenham dream was well and truly crushed by a 52-12 semi-final defeat to holders Surrey at Grove.

The hosts needed to be on top of their game to stand any chance of competing against the favourites, but found themselves 26-0 down after 20 minutes.

Surrey’s pace and power, plus their set-piece domination, made for a formidable combination and Oxon were often living off scraps.

Trailing 40-7 at half-time, Oxfordshire played better in the second period, but the damage had been done.

Surrey, whose squad included 14 players from National 3 London champions Dorking, spent the opening ten minutes inside Oxon’s half and it was no surprise when the opening try came.

Some dominant scrummaging saw referee Claire Hodnett award a penalty try as Oxon illegally halted a pushover effort.

Fly half Neil Hallett converted and the former Esher man showed superb handling skills to scoop up a loose ball and score try No 2 three minutes later.

Hallett converted this and the third try on 16 minutes, a slick counter attack finished on the right by No 8 Ian White.

Oxon were reeling and shipped another score as Cyprus international wing Fidias Efthymiou ran a great line off full back Matt Betty to touch down.

The hosts brought on scrum half Joe Chilvers, who had an instant impact, dummying his way through for their opening try after a powerful carry from prop Pete Boulton.

Fly half Zac Norris converted, but the Surrey tries kept coming.

Hallett’s flat pass gave wing James Faatuata an easy finish on the left, then the same player benefitted from a lucky bounce for his second as Betty’s high hick deceived the home defence.

Hallett converted both and Surrey deserved their 40-7 lead.

Oxon had the wind behind them in the second half and came out with real purpose.

Wing Guy Nicholl, improvised well to dive over a pile of bodies and score their second try on 42 minutes.

Replacement Harry Carr almost got away on the right wing, but just put a foot in touch.

Although Surrey responded, the home defence impressed – and that was despite having hooker Steve Dixey sin-binned.

It took a piece of individual skill from Efthymiou, who jinked his way through from a standing start, to score Surrey’s seventh try.

Nicholl contributed much to Oxon’s defensive effort, but his yellow card on 70 minutes triggered more Surrey pressure.

Replacement Harry Watts supported well to bag their eighth try, with centre Matt Noble converting to wrap up the scoring.

Oxfordshire: Day, G Nicholl, Clarke, Bellinger, J Mills, Norris, E Phillips, Eckert (capt), Dixey, Boulton, Brown, Purchase, C Chilvers, Wells, Gratwohl. Reps (all used: Walsh, Haire, J Chilvers, Carr, Clipsham, Spencer, Monks.

Referee: C Hodnett (Newark).

Oxon man-of-the-match: G Nicholl.

Latest Sport news

ICE HOCKEY: Stars are rumbled by Thunder's late show

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

Oxford City Stars put up brave resistance before Milton Keynes Thunder’s third-period blast sent them reeling to a 4-1 defeat in South Division 1.

ATHLETICS: Shield success caps super showing for Oxford City

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

OXFORD City’s men led the club’s successful venture to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Cross Country Championships at Upton Court Park, Slough.

RACING: Woods is thrilled by snappy Croco

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

Chipping Norton-based jockey Kielan Woods was overjoyed after notching the biggest success of his career on runaway winner Croco Bay at Ascot.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford RL snap up England forwards

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

7:20am Thursday 27th November 2014

OXFORD RL have signed England Forces international pair Jordan Andrade and Jamie Milburn.

ATHLETICS: Treadwell bags silver

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

ROY Treadwell helped England to a silver medal in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

ATHLETICS: McBain on song

Oxford Mail: Jenny McBain

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

ALCHESTER’S Jenny McBain was the first lady home in the latest round of the Poole Runners Winter 5K Series.

BOWLS: Brown skips England four to cup triumph

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

Oxfordshire’s AJ Brown skipped England’s four to victory in the main competition at the British Isles Short Mat Championships in Llanelli.

RUGBY UNION: Fisilau proud as Quins reach final

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

GREG Fisilau said Oxford Harlequins Under 12s could be proud of their efforts after finishing runners-up in the London Irish-hosted Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

ATHLETICS: Results round-up

Oxford Mail: Diane Moore won the Carterton 10K

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

(senior men unless stated)

ATHLETICS: Harcourt Hill chosen as host

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 27th November 2014

A NEW venue will host round two of the Oxford Mail Cross Country League next month.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

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