OURFC started 2016 with a visit to Iffley Raod from the Welsh Invitational side Crawshays, and it was the visitors who came away withe spoils in entertaining fixture with plenty of attacking rugby on show. It was the home side who got off to the better start when after just 4 minutes the reliable boot of fly-half Basil Strang knocked over a 35 metre penalty. It was a further 30 minutes before either side managed another score, but both sides kept ball in hand as they looked for a decisive opening, but strong defence kept each other at bay. With half-time on the near horizon, Oxford took a clean line-out in the Crawshays 22 and set up a well organised driving maul, which the Welsh forwards collapsed within inches of the line, leading the referee to award the home side a penalty try which Strang duly converted to extend the lead to 10 nil. On the stoke of half-time, Crawshays replied to narrow the deficit to just 3 points, when former Blue Ed Doe scythed through the students defence and race over to score out wide. Wonderfully named fly-half Diggy Bird added the difficult conversion to make the score at the interval 10 – 7 in favour of OURFC.
Even though both sides made changes at the break and during the second half, the play continued to end to end and entertaining for the crowd, but it was the Welsh visitors who ultimately proved to have the greater strength in depth as they added three converted tries to their first half tally. Open side flanker Jonathan Howard. who enjoyed an impressive match grabbed a brace of tries with the fourth coming from replacement centre Josh Moscardini, Diggy Bird converted two for a 100% record on the night with the final conversion being added by Kieran Meek to close out the scoring at 10 points to 28.
The Collier Bristow Man of the Match Award, went to Oxford’s young full-back Matt Geiger, who stepped up to fly-half in the second half and OURFC would like to offer their thanks to Corporate Travel International for sponsoring the match.
Oxford welcome the might of the British Army to Iffley Road next Wednesday 10th February, kick-off 7.15pm.
Team Lewis Anderson, Richard Halpin, Kieran Ball, Fergus Taylor, Jonathan Marsden, Graeme MacGilchrist, Jacob Goss, Sam Howard, Henry de Berker, Basil Strang, Ed David, Oliver Shorthose, Stephen Hyde, Guy Fairburn, Matt Geiger
Subs William Thornton (on for Jacob Goss), Dean Irvine (on for Lewis Anderson), Hugo McPherson (on for Fergus Taylor), John Aaron Henry (on for Graeme MacGilchrist), Tom Kershaw (on for Basil Strang), Tom Hammond (on for Guy Fairburn), Daniel Radigan (on for Richard Halpin)
ScoresT: Pen Try (1) C: Basil Strang (1) P: Basil Strang (1)