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 Rugby 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

RUGBY UNION: Browne's back for London Welsh's Bath clash

Oxford Mail:

2:56pm Friday 31st October 2014

DANIEL Browne makes his first start of the season as part of a much-changed London Welsh side for tomorrow’s LV= Cup opener at Bath (3).

Oxford United put trust in youngster Holmes-Dennis

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 31st October 2014

MICKEY Lewis says the form of rookie defender Tareiq Holmes-Dennis has surpassed his expectations, allowing Oxford United to loan out Tom Newey to Northampton Town yesterday.

Lewis calls for Oxford United to match Wycombe's intensity

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 31st October 2014

OXFORD United’s players must be prepared to match Wycombe Wanderers’ work rate when the sides meet at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow, according to Mickey Lewis.

Riley open to extended stay at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 31st October 2014

JOE Riley would consider extending his loan at Oxford United, but is in the dark about where his future lies in the new year.

Oxford United fans gearing up for Yellow Army Day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 31st October 2014

MORE than 500 flags have been delivered as part of the plans for Yellow Army Day tomorrow.

RUGBY UNION: Injury-hit London Welsh may need more signings

Oxford Mail: Justin Burnell

9:00am Friday 31st October 2014

JUSTIN Burnell says London Welsh may have to bring in some new players to cope with their mounting injury problems.

Ainsworth relishing 'M40 derby' with Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 31st October 2014

GARETH Ainsworth is expecting the atmosphere at the Kassam Stadium to crackle when Oxford United host his Wycombe Wanderers side tomorrow.

Whing delight at injury-free appearances for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

IT may have ended on a low note with defeat at Carlisle United, but last week marked a major step forward for Andy Whing.

ROWING: Tethys rule the roost in Upper Thames Autumn Head

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

While Oxford University’s lightweight women, Tethys, had a bumper day in the Upper Thames Autumn Head at Henley there were successes, too, for other local clubs, writes John Wiggins.

RUGBY UNION: Henley blow as Robinson gets recall to Welsh

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

HENLEY Hawks will be without regular half backs Will Robinson and Connor Murphy for their trip to Canterbury in National 2 South tomorrow.

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