8:30am Tuesday 27th May 2014
A VALIANT fightback could not make up for a nightmare start as Oxford RL lost 30-24 at Hemel Stags.
The visitors trailed 20-0 at half-time, but produced an excellent response to get within two points at one stage.
But Hemel rallied to secure the points which kept them in the top four at Oxford’s expense.
The visitors had lost at Pennine Way in last season’s play-offs and they were behind within 14 minutes.
A good set of six ended with BJ Swindells diving over.
He added the extras and before long he converted Hemel’s second try, scored by Eddie M’Baraga after Michael Crabtree fumbled a high kick.
Swindells kicked the goal to make it 12-0 and the advantage was quickly extended when James Hill went over in the corner.
Swindells missed the conversion, but added two more penalties before the hooter to round off a miserable half for Oxford.
But the interval revitalised the visitors, who emerged looking like a different side.
Within two minutes good work from JJ Baird and Luke Evans allowed Sean Morris to touch down.
Thompson converted, but it was virtually his last action as a late hit forced him out of the game.
From the resulting penalty Sam Blaney wriggled over, with Tommy Connick adding another two points.
A third try in 11 minutes, via Morris’ second of the game, gave Connick another kick, which he slotted to trim Hemel’s lead to only 20-18.
But just as it appeared the hosts were on the ropes, they responded with two tries in six minutes, from Michael Brown and M’Baraga.
It gave them a valuable cushion, which was needed, with Rory Sharratt’s try, converted by Connick, setting up a frantic finish.
Andrew Hoggins came close late on, but his break was halted by two defenders and left Oxford with only the consolation of a bonus point.
12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.
12:00pm Monday 1st September 2014
Have your say on all the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.
11:24am Monday 1st September 2014
Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
9:30am Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.
9:20am Monday 1st September 2014
OXFORD City general manager Justin Merritt said he was proud of his players despite defeat at Harrogate Town on Saturday.
8:40am Monday 1st September 2014
BANBURY United let slip a 2-0 lead as they fell to a seventh straight league defeat this season with a 4-2 loss at Frome Town in the Southern League Premier Division.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
JONATHAN Margetts’ 55th-minute strike inflicted a first defeat of the season on Oxford City in their Vanarama Conference North clash at Harrogate Town on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
THAME United produced a sensational comeback to beat Highmoor Ibis 3-2 with the final kick of their FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday.
8:20am Monday 1st September 2014
GREAT Britain’s men’s eight successfully defended their title with a stunning display in Amsterdam yesterday.
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