RUGBY UNION: Alchester come on strong

Alchester captain Dan Kimber lifts the Oxfordshire Shield

Alchester captain Dan Kimber lifts the Oxfordshire Shield

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

Alchester 28, Blue Boar 6

ALCHESTER retained the Oxfordshire Shield with a strong second half display.

Having been pegged back to 8-6 just before half-time, Alchester ran in 20 unanswered points as their greater youth and fitness started to tell.

After a slowish start, Alchester’s backs started to fire, with man-of-the-match Ieuan Robinson catching the eye on several occasions.

Boar showed their intent with two strong scrums and earned a penalty which fly half Giles Blanchard sent just wide on five minutes.

Alchester showed a bit more dynamism in the loose and centre Tom Miles slotted a penalty on 13 minutes.

Much of the play was stop-start, so it seemed strange that Blue Boar passed up a kickable penalty in the 20th minute.

The pub side went for goal soon afterwards, but Blanchard fluffed a simple kick.

Alchester carved out their best chance of the half from a line-out when No 8 Joe McEneaney powered forwards, but flanker Joe Fawcett could not take his off-load.

On 32 minutes, wing Robinson and Miles combined for the latter to score on the left Blanchard made it third time lucky with a far better struck penalty on 39 minutes and slotted a more difficult one on the stroke of half-time.

Miles kicked Alchester further ahead with a 43rd-minute penalty, then was on hand to finish after a good break and looped pass from Robinson.

It was 21-6 on 51 minutes when McEneaney drove off the back of a five-metre scrum and off-loaded for wing Andy Blacklock to dive over.

Blacklock should have had a second, but for a poor pass from full back Robin Tyreman, while fly half Adam Thompson was denied by a forward pass.

Boar went close through a driving maul and scrum half Angus Philip’s dart, but it was game over when Robinson ran in a 61st-minute interception try, converted by Miles.

Boar deserved a try, but were held up on 69 minutes.

The impressive Robinson had another good break, while Boar at least ended the match in Alchester’s half.

Alchester: Tyreman (T Barnes 64), Blacklock, Miles, Coogan, Robinson, Thompson (T Barnes 45-49 & 60-4 [blood]), L Kimber, Brits (Boyce 72), D Kimber (capt), Cooke, G Kimber, Dye, Byrne (Isidro 43), Fawcett, McEneaney. Rep not used: Beckley.

Blue Boar: W Sandbach, C Whitfield (Brufell 41), McHugh, Frei, D Davies, Blanchard (Morgan 55), Phillip, Lay (Tutt 41), Needham, Hobley (capt), Chatterton, Jackson, Alder, Palmer (Spencer 66), Moore. Rep not used: G Whitfield.

Referee: G Williams (Oxfordshire).

Man-of-the-match: Robinson.

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