10:00am Tuesday 6th August 2013
KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP ONE
OXFORD RL were undone by a ten-minute second-half blitz as they lost 30-16 at Hemel Stags.
Hemel led only 6-4 at half-time, but quick scores from Shane Grady, Jermaine Coleman and Mike Forgham gave Oxford too much to do with 51 minutes gone.
A blustery Pennine Way was not the most conducive setting as both sides doggedly battled during an attritional first 40 minutes.
Four times Hemel were forced back to kick a goal-line drop-out as Oxford looked to impose themselves.
But the Stags took the lead through Grady in the eighth minute following good passes from Ben Young and Chad Sharp, with Barry John Swindells converting.
Many kicks went out on the full as both sides struggled to judge the direction of the wind.
Sloppy handling prevented Oxford going over on the left, but they crossed the whitewash on the right when Jimmy Rowland and Oli Johnson combined to set up Jonny Leather.
Oxford’s impressive defence at the end of the first half went walkabout as the second period got under way and dual-registered London Bronco Grady completed his brace within a minute.
Coleman delivered a third try in the 49th minute when his grubber kick bounced back in his direction metres from Oxford’s goal area.
Two minutes later, Aaron Small shot off on the right wing, having intercepted an Oxford attack near his try-line, and freed the supporting Forgham to do the rest.
Dispirited by the speed in which the Stags had strode into a 20-point lead, Oxford looked lacklustre and the game became disjointed.
But on 69 minutes, Small sped 90 metres to score, Swindells making it five out of five conversions.
Hemel, playing their second game in five days, then took their foot off the gas.
Sean Morris capitalised on a defensive error to score Oxford’s second try.
Andrew Hoggins added a third Oxford score following good work from Tommy Connick to make things more respectable in the last ten minutes.
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