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Home > News > Witney 62 - Cheltenham 2XV 0
Your News Witney 62 - Cheltenham 2XV 0

The disappointment of the Cup Match with Wallingford being cancelled and the

downpour before the match kicked off could have left a deflated felling for

the lads but they forgot about all that and just got on with the job in hand.

Their positive attitude was rewarded early on with a try after only three

minutes. It came from good handling by the threequarters and Ed Mitchem

putting Louie Collins into space and he cruised over. Witneys forwards were

generally in control with Danny Godfrey slotting in well at hooker and mostly

finding his jumpers in the lineout and scrummaging solidly. Big Joe Rowles

was making great ground too and he covered many of the €œhard yards€ that were

earned in the mud. Cheltenham were upping their game though and although not

creating too much that next score was needed by the home side.

After 20 more minutes it came and was a real family affair. From a Cheltenham

scrum five yards out. The ball bobbled out the back and Gareth Campbell

pounced on the lose ball and popped up to brother Carl who flopped over,

Mitchem converting. The muddy conditions were starting to take their toll on

the players with both sides trying to play some rugby but generally the ball

slipping out of grasps when overlaps had been worked. In the main, it was

Witney that played the conditions better and the flankers Carl Campbell and

Will MacBurnie were winning the battle for the ball on the floor. A Mitchem

penalty settled the ship when things had been ragged for a few minutes but

another try was what was needed before half time.

Winger James Monks ran well but instead of passing inside to his support he

elected to try and bulldoze over but despite a chance missed, it wasn€™t long

before Witney scored again. It cam from fly half Henry Lamb who saw half a

gap and some poor tackling and strong running saw him stretch over, Mitchem

again converting. Darting down the blind side, it was Gareth Campbell who

rounded things off just before the interval with a fourth try to make it 29

points to the good at halftime.

Cheltenham did not want to come all the way to Witney without giving a good

account of themselves and started to find some gaps and string some phases

together. The Witney defence was sound though and they harried their

opponents into mistakes and started to up the anti after a slowish ten

minutes after the restart. Aaron Lambourne came on and looked lively on the

wing with one lovely step leaving his opposite number for dead. Jez Hicks and

Carl Campbell continued to dominate the lineouts and the Witney scrum was by

now on top too. Jamie Burke came on to give some momentum to the forwards and

more scores looked inevitable. The next try came from the hard working Aaron

Tustin who outstripped the cover after a hack through as Cheltenham spilled

the ball, Mitchem adding the extras.

Cheltenhams winger showed good €œgas€ and his kick ahead over Ed Mitchem ran

dead and their one half chance was gone. They had one other dart up the other

side of the field from deep but by now were looking weary and the gaps were

starting to appear all too frequently. Carl Campbell had one charge up the

middle of the field but failed to get the ball to brother Gareth when a score

looked on the cards. He made amends soon after though with surprising pace to

exploit another gap, Mitchem converting yet again.

Three more tries came in the last 15 minutes as the vistors got stuck in the

mud (literally) and Witney were by now, rampant. James Monks was released and

a fierce handoff on the full back saw him cross for try number seven. Aaron

Tustin and Henry Lamb both grabbed their braces too and Mitchems successful

day with the boot saw him finish with 17 points.

The lads were clearly disappointed not to be playing the Cup Semi Final this

weekend but they came through with no more injuries and some of the other

players will be available for the rearranged match, whenever that may be.

1st XV

Mitchem, Collins(L), *Lamb(J), Tustin, Monks, Lamb(H), Cambell(G): Serle,

Godfrey(D), Richens, Hicks(J), Fowler, MacBurnie, Campbell(C), Rowles

Repl: Lambourne (Collins-45), Burke(Serle-50)


Witney were far hungrier than their opponents in most phases and made far

fewer errors with the greasy ball. There were mistakes for sure but the

workrate was excellent and the players that came in all did well. Carl

Campbell was on fire in both attack and defence and showed some good pace

when he found himself in space. The visitors plugged away and kept going to

the end but in reality, they were playing on ones and twos and too many of

them didn€™t really seem up for the contest. Next week it€™s the Mayors lunch

and the visit of local rivals Chipping Norton. After a poor run Chippy are

showing signs of a revival and would like nothing more than to take Witneys

scalp next weekend. Both sides are desperate for the two points but for

different reasons, it should be a cracking match.

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