Bulls overcome elements to pile on the points

Jacob Mills is left under a under a pile of bodies after scoring for Banbury Bulls against Marlow
Jacob Mills is left under a under a pile of bodies after scoring for Banbury Bulls against Marlow

Banbury Bulls overcame Marlow and the conditions to make it eight Wadworth 6X South West One wins in the spin.

Matt Goode’s boys thumped Marlow 51-7 in Saturday’s clash at the DCS Stadium where George Grieve bagged a brace of tries.

It was second top against second bottom but Bulls had only managed to draw at Marlow earlier in the season so there was no room for complacency.

With this game kicking off in horrendous conditions there was a real chance of an upset if Bulls weren’t switched on - but they were.

They simply flew out the blocks, Sam Stoop chipped over the top and Jack Briggs out-sprinted the covering fullback to touchdown in the corner. Ed Phillips kicked an easy penalty after Marlow were punished for offside.

The backs traded kicks in the wet conditions but it was Bulls who gained more ground and Phillips put a brilliant box kick into the corner which the Marlow fullback kicked out under pressure from Josh Deegan. From the resulting line-out the Bulls pack got Ian Isham to within a couple metres of the try line before he darted his way over.

Phillips converted before Bulls increased their lead with a brilliant try. Stoop chipped to the corner again, Joe Mills expertly slid and kicked the ball at the same time to put Tommy Gray in for a try in the corner.

Phillips nailed a tricky conversion before he put in another excellent box kick and Joe Mills out-muscled his opposite number to win the ball. He off-loaded to Jacob Mills who drove his way through two Marlow players to score out wide and Phillips converted to make it 29-0 at halftime.

Marlow started the second half brightly with a period of sustained pressure and Ken Key got a yellow card for Banbury after collapsing a rolling maul. The rolling maul was one of Marlow’s main threats and it set up what proved to be their only try with Stuart Silvester touching down and Miles Noble converting.

But any hopes of a comeback were crushed when Phillips picked up from the base of a ruck on the edge of the 22, passed to Pete Boulton who burst through a gap in the Marlow defensive line, crashed through the last man before touching down.

Bulls finished the game brightly with a flurry of late tries. Taking numerical advantage down the blind side, Jimmy Manley shipped the ball on to Gray who quickly moved it on to Grieve who dived over in the corner.

Stoop scored then scored the try of the game. Marlow attempted to grubber the ball through but Stoop showed some great reactions to block the kick with his foot.

He charged on to the loose ball and kicked the ball through off the floor without breaking stride. Stoop won the footrace, diving on to the loose ball and sliding his way through the mud for a brilliant solo try in the left corner.

Bulls still had time for one more try before the full-time whistle. Phillips made two successive line breaks before passing to Gray who was tackled narrowly short. But Gray popped the ball up off the floor to the onrushing Grieve who snuck his way across in the corner before sprinting from out wide to touchdown under the posts.

Phillips converted to take Bulls over the 50-point mark and the full-time whistle followed shortly afterwards.

Bulls produced some brilliant rugby in horrendous conditions. They adjusted to the conditions perfectly, their kicking game was another level and some of their football skills would not have looked out of place at the Spencer Stadium rather than the DSC Stadium. The impressive Kallum Dixey was didn’t put a foot wrong in defence all day, making several key tackles.