The Blues finished the term in style with a fine 33 points to 25 victory over Bristol at Iffley Road on Friday night. Bristol started much the stronger and opened the scoring with a try out wide after just 9 minutes from wing Ryan Edwards, who impressed all night with his direct running and nimble footwork. Fellow winger Adam Hughes added a second just 5 minutes later which centre Mark Cooke converted to make the lead 14 nil to the visitors. As the half went on the Oxford scrummage started to take control with the Varsity trio of Anderson, Gardner and Williams squeezed the fife out of their opposites and were eventually rewarded with a deserved penalty try on the stoke of half-time which scrum-half Matt Shorthose converted, to make the score at the break 7 – 14.
Bristol started the second half as they did the first with a score after just 6 minutes from centre Nick Carpenter, Cooke missed with the conversion this time. The next 25 minutes belonged to Oxford, with the scrum once again to the fore, the backs started to string some passes together which resulted 4 unanswered trys. First off was No 8 Fraser Heathcote who barrelled his way over form 10 metres, Shorthose converting then flanker Chris Williams who enjoyed a fine evening grabbing his first try from a driving line-out. His second was arguably the score of the match with centre Zandy MacDonald cutting a huge hole before releasing wing Jack Davidson who through an inside pass which Williams happily scooped up to dive over, Shorthose again successful with the extras. The final score was one for the front row when hooker Nick Gardner broke a tackle and then burst through a gap to score under the posts to leave Shorthose a straight forward conversion. Bristol had the last word when wing Adam Hughes snatched his second try of the night, but it was too little too late, with the Blues holding on to their 8 point lead in the final 2 minutes.
The Blues have one final 15-a-side fixture left this season when they host the Croatian National team on Saturday 5th April, kick off 2.00pm.
Team Lewis Anderson, Nick Gardner, Ian Williams, Graeme MacGilchrist, Chris Williams, Julien Morlet, Fraser Heathcote, Matthew Shorthose, Jacob Taylor, George Postlethwaite, Alexander Macdonald, Oakley Cox, Henry de Berker, Will Boardman
Subs Ben Symington (on for Ian Williams), Dean Irvine (on for Henry de Berker), James Scaiffe (on for Lewis Anderson), John Davidson (on for Jacob Taylor), James Bennington (on for George Postlethwaite), Steven Patch
Scores T: Chris Williams (2), Nick Gardner (1), Fraser Heathcote (1) C: Matthew Shorthose (4)