The Greyhounds lost their County Cup tie to Witney on Friday night at Hailey Road by 16 points to 13. The home side started strongly and were ten points ahead after just 10 minutes through a try from their flanker and a conversion and penalty from the fly-half. The Hounds then came to life and enjoyed the better of the remaining 30 minutes of the first half but depsite sustained pressure on the Witney defence they didn’t manage to cross the whitewash and their only points came from the reliable boot of centre Basil Strang with two penalties. Half-time 6 – 10.
The second half mirrored the first with Witney starting the stronger and extending their lead to 7 points with two further penalties from their fly-half, again this jarred the Hounds into a response. Full-back Tom Stileman was the inspiration for the start of a comeback when he fielded a miss directed kick in his own half and proceded to show pace and elusiveness to run in a great individual try from fully 55 metres, Strang converted to close the gap to just three points. As the away team with tries and conversions equal a penalty to tie the scores was all that was needed to take the Hounds through as the away team, however Witney seemed equally aware of the situation and proceeded to control possession and territory for the remaining 5 minutes to hold on for the win and enter the hat for the quarter finals.
The Greyhounds now have 12 days before their next fixture, a visit to Portsmouth to face the Royal Navy U23’s on Wednesday 28th October.
Team James Scaife, William Thornton, Hugo Lu, Hugo McPherson, Rob Menzies-Wilson, George Vaughan, Jack Calvert, James Faktor, Seb Haddock, Oliver Shorthose, Tom Hammond, Basil Strang, Rory Trevalyn-Thomas, Jonathan Philpott, Tom Stileman
Subs Edward Hart (on for William Thornton), Noah Miller (on for Hugo Lu), Michael Price (on for Jack Calvert), Will Beynon (on for Seb Haddock), Alastair Adams-Cairns (on for Tom Hammond)
Scores T: Tom Stileman (1) C: Basil Strang (1) P: Basil Strang (2)