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Home > News > Swindon 14 - Witney 35
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Your News Swindon 14 - Witney 35
22
SEP

An emphatic response from the boys after last weeks comprehensive defeat and

coaches Campbell and Harper were delighted with the positive effort from the

team. The damage was done in the first half which saw 4 Witney tries all

converted by Henry Lamb to leave the match almost over at 0-28. The conditions

were perfect and there were no particular elements in Witneys favour, they had

just taken their opportunities in attack and had defended with passion too when

the home side looked threatening.

The match kicked off in beautiful sunshine and the question from the Witney

travelling support was if the bulkier Swindon pack would last the pace and if

the Witney forwards could front up and win some good ball. When young hooker Sam

Collins found Simon Chatterton in the first lineout, the omens were good and in

the first scrum Rikki Dore and Mark Serle got a nudge on the home side. With set

piece looking fairly even, the lose exchanges would be crucial and tearaway

flankers Marc Copperwheat and Wayne Caffekey were the dominant force in the open

play with Caffekey making some trademark runs and Copperwheat some big tackles

to stop some Swindon attacks dead in their tracks. Caffekey was the opening try

scorer after some fine work from Adam Hicks and Tom Whelan. Henry Lambs

successful conversion was good news but Whelan had to limp off the pitch

straight after but his misfortune was Ed Mitchem€™s gain as he nearly had a full

match to impress the coaches. He slotted in at full back with Hicks moving to

the wing.

The forwards were working hard as a unit and the ball was steady for Phil

Gouldie to feed his backline where Henry Lamb€™s decision making was generally

good all match. Another try came after Swindon were caught in defence and a

couple of slick passes saw scrum half Gouldie scamper over and the home side

starting to feel frustrated. If their supporters thought things were bad at that

point, they soon saw them get even worse. Witney kicked to the corner and won

the resulting lineout, a drive infield saw Witney pile over the try line and the

legend that is Mark €œNorm€ Serle emerge with the ball and a fairly rare score

for the veteran prop. Lamb again converted and it was all smiles for Witney.

Swindon threatened from the next 5 minutes and it looked as if Witneys foot had

come off the pedal and the match may be slipping as some tackles started to be

missed. Skipper Jez Hicks rallied his team with one great lineout steal and Ed

Mitchem cleared the lines on a couple of occasions to ease the pressure. A

storming run from 60 metres by Adam Hicks saw Witney almost score again but a

great covering tackle saved the day for the home side. It was shortlived though

as another threatening Witney forward drive crept towards the try line. All the

Swindon forwards piled in to stop the try and second row Alan Richens peeled off

the side and scored under the posts with nobody anywhere near him, Lamb again

converting.

The home side knew a score before halftime would give them a genuine lifeline

but they blew a golden opportunity and this was probably pointed out in no

uncertain terms by their coach during the halftime team talk. Whatever was said

worked as the home side same out and dominated most of the next 25 minutes. Good

interpassing saw the score the first 10 minutes into the half and 5 minutes

later their winger showed great pace to score from 50 metres out. Both were

converted and the match was no far from over.

Witney knuckled down and were committed in defence as the home side started to

put some excellent phases together. One passing movement must have seen 20

passes strung together but the Witney tackling was excellent and they held out.

Henry Lamb had a penalty attempt narrowly miss but Witney knew they had time on

their side and their confidence began to grow. A couple of superb snipes from

Phil Gouldie put Witney in great field position and replacement prop Lee Ashford

darted down the blindside and passed to skipper Jez Hicks was was at full tilt

30 metres out. A fine tackle from the Swindon full back halted Hicks but he had

the strength to reach over and score the try. Henry Lambs touchline conversion

was the final nail in Swindon€™s coffin and the final whistle left Witneys squad

and supporters with big smiles on their faces.

1st XV

Hicks(A), Collins(L), Lamb(J), Strutt, Whelan, Lamb(H), Gouldie: Dore,

Collins(S), Serle, Richens, Chatterton, Copperwheat(M), Caffekey, *Hicks(J)

Repl : Mitchem(Whelan-10), Ashford(Serle-50), Rowland(J)(Chatterton-70)

VIEW FROM THE TOUCHLINE

Great weather for rugby and a great response from the squad after last weekends

disappointment. The lineouts were much better this time round and young Sam

Collins had a very solid match in that department. Big Al had a storming match,

doing all the grunt work and doing it well, great to see him going over for his

try and even better to see Norm getting his. If that had been at the Hailey

Road, the crowd would still be cheering even now!

Phil Gouldie had a good match in the unaccustomed position of scrum half, Ed

Mitchem had a nice match at full back and showed some classy touches. Indeed,

all the backs did some good things but the match was really won in the forward

battle and while the back row of Copperwheat, Caffekey and Hicks may have caught

the eye more than others, the unseen graft of the tight five was as crucial as

anything.

A much better performance and hopefully this will be a good stepping stone for

the rest of the season which starts next week at the Hailey Road Ground against

Slough.

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