RUGBY UNION: Grove blown off course as Witney rule the roost

Grove's Paul Miles finds his way blocked by a tackle from Witney’s Jamie Burke

Grove's Paul Miles finds his way blocked by a tackle from Witney’s Jamie Burke

First published in Sport

Grove had no answer to hosts Witney or the howling wind as they slumped to a 17-0 defeat in South West 1 East on Saturday.

With fly half Ted Landray using the wind well, Witney took the lead on 12 minutes.

A driven line-out five metres from the Grove line saw hooker Richie Craig crash over, although Grove were aggrieved that referee Adam Wookey played on with scrum half Roger Sevier down nursing a dislocated finger.

Grove indiscipline allowed Landray to slot three penalties for a 14-0 half-time lead, although Witney had lock Charlie Bennett sin-binned.

Fly half Dave Johnson went close for Grove after a great solo break before leaving the field with a shoulder injury.

Centre Nick Sevier and wing Guy Nicholl also threatened for the visitors.

Grove lost their way tactically in the second half.

Landray slotted a further penalty for 17-0 on 55 minutes.

A poor afternoon for Grove ended with Roger Sevier being yellow-carded.

Wallingford edged towards mid-table in Southern Coun-ties North with a last-gasp 12-10 victory at Stow-on-the-Wold.

Scrum half Phil Dawes converted fly half Tom Swainston’s try a minute from time to seal a narrow in.

Wallingford dominated the scrums, with impressive No 8 Jermaine Webster showed great strength to barrel over for a deserved try.

Visiting prop Antony Marris was yellow-carded just before the break, with Stow’s Alex Kelly slotting the resulting penalty.

Stow led 10-5 in the second half after a try from Geoff Flather, converted by Kelly.

Play was scrappy in the wind, but Wallingford mounted some late pressure.

Swainston jinked through from 15 yards and showed great strength to ground the ball, critically right under the posts.

Dawes did the rest to leave Wallingford 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Harwell were in ruthless mood, thrashing Winslow 88-7 at home in the Berks Bucks & Oxon Championship.

Rob Douglas and Sam Froud-Davis each scored hat-tricks of tries, with Gavin Wilde adding a brace.

Matt Rushden, Mike Phill-ips, James Hoskyns-Jones, Tom Nicholas, Lewis Rich-ards and Jordan Morrison completed the tally, with Andy Lee slotting nine conversions.

Leaders Abingdon cruised to a 48-7 victory at Faringdon, with Callum Percival crossing for a try treble.

Seb Bach, Gareth Smith, James Webb, Aaron Lewis and Luke Matthews also got on the scoresheet, while Mark Roberts converted four.

For Faringdon, Ben Cobb scored a try, converted by Darren Clark.

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