Bulls are blown off course as leaders come out on top

Skipper Ian Isham carries the ball during Banbury Bulls' defeat at Old Patesians. Photo: Simon Grieve
Skipper Ian Isham carries the ball during Banbury Bulls' defeat at Old Patesians. Photo: Simon Grieve

Despite a great effort, Banbury Bulls slipped to their first defeat in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at Old Patesians.

Great defence from the leaders kept Bulls out for the whole match as they lost 15-0 in Saturday’s Wadworth 6X South West One East clash at Everest Road.

The game kicked off in horrendous conditions with 50mph winds and heavy rain. Bulls attacked into the storm and up the slope in the first half, so it was more damage limitation in the first half.

Old Patesians got off to a strong start and Bulls penalised for dissent in front of the posts so James Aherne kicking Patesians into an early 3-0 lead.

Patesians increased their lead when Scott Alldritt peeled off the back of a scrum and barged his way over from five metres out. James Aherne added the extras with a brilliant kick in tricky conditions to make it 10-0.

The second try was an exact repeat of the first. Alldritt peeled out of the scrum before crashing over from five metres out but Aherne could not convert this time.

The difficult conditions were highlighted when Old Patesians kicked five metres from their own try line and the ball sailed the length of the pitch to cross the dead ball line. Bulls put in a huge shift in the first half going against the wind, trying to play to the conditions as kicking was near impossible.

When the halftime whistle went Bullsy seemed relatively happy to have kept the score down and were confident with the wind on their backs they could make a comeback in the second half.

After the restart Old Patesians picked up an early yellow card after persistent offside penalties.

Bulls had a couple opportunities to attempt kickable penalties but in the tricky conditions chose to try and get back into the game with tries rather than with the points from the boot. Despite a lot of territory, Bulls could not find the score to get them back into the game.

Old Patesians defended brilliantly and the effort that Bulls put in, especially in the first half, started to show when they tired as the game went on. The full-time whistle came as a relief to everyone as the conditions worsened.

A game that had the potential to be a great top-of-the-table clash was ruined by the conditions. Bulls unable to play their usual expansive running rugby but tight head prop Pete Boulton carried the ball brilliantly all game and made so much ground in tricky conditions.