Blues vs Nottingham 1s Match Report – 3/2/16
The 3rd of February 2016 called for a large performance from the Oxford Blues to topple a yet undefeated Nottingham side. Injuries to the back 3 further demonstrated the squad’s strength in numbers and meant thatBrady’s relationship was safe for another week. With some enthusiastic right lane driving from Alex ‘Porridge’ Babb and Woyton ‘Woyton’ Woytonthe side entered the changing rooms switched on and still a little scared.
After some kick off confusion resulting in a Nottingham penalty, both sides began to really get their teeth into what was shaping up to be a textbook game of rugby league. The battle of the middles were well underway with Jake ‘Postbox’ Landmead-Jones and Sammelweis Bainbridge laying down the law with both shoulders while Mark ‘I don’t like bikes’ Roper tried to look busy. The momentum swung in Nottingham’s favour and an interesting call was made to award them 4 points as a result of a man in green throwing the ball over the try line. The conversion was as good as the finish and the score remained at 4-0. Oxford came flying out of the blocks throwing some great shape around but lacked clinical finishing, which they usually have in spades.
A battle like this one cannot be won without casualties and the first to fall was Josh ‘now the uglier twin’ Blackaby. Friendly fire saw him lose half a tooth, which was promptly removed from his gum shield so he could get back to being a hero. Jordan ‘always looks a bit grumpy’ Ayling was forced to take an early shower after his ballsy take it to the line play got him hurt.
The game was far from decided and the little things now counted more than ever. Gareth ‘I miss the old days‘ Davies and Yoni Dennispromoted rugby league in the best possible way by delivering a huge shot to one of the Nottingham ‘forwards’ which seemed to ruin his day. After this definitive turning point in the game it was open season on the Nottingham front row with Thomas ‘Sven’ Kerneis really putting a shift in on his apprenticeship programme and Dan ‘Dan Smith’ Smith making use of that big Christmas in the gym.
The shape was really coming to life now and some nice calm rugby league saw Alex ‘Porridge’ Babb follow up with style on a classic James ‘I’ve got a girlfriend now so I’m boring’ Clark grubber under the posts. The skipper wasn’t done yet and bagged himself a pork pie from after a sloppy rendition of a training ground gem by Zac ‘half day’ Keane. Dubious though the try was, some felt this made up for the first half’s crowd shocker.
A highball fumble from the blues and a lovely cut out ball from Roper saw the scores at 16-8. This was followed by Oxford’s best butchers service making multiple deliveries in Nottingham that day with lead driver Will ‘never live it down’ Henshall dropping off a big one in the corner. Oxford soon shook this bad form off as Connor ‘Retox’ McCleary beat three men to go in from 60m. The OURLFC parade was now in full precession with Mark ‘We’re not going to a carvery‘ Giza buying some prime real estate behind the ruck and Phil ‘How do you like your salad?’ Maffettone making some tackles in such a manner that it was certain to end in injury. Not that he cares.
A lapse in the concentration of the Blues saw the Nottingham hooker sneak in from dummy half. The boys new Jamesy would be sad and probably won’t tell him. A late try in the corner by McCleary and the blues saw the fixture end 26-14 in favour of those in dark blue.
We caught up with some of the lads after the game to see what they had to say.
James Clark: ‘Really great win today. I can’t wait to go home and not go to Vinnie’s with the lads.’
Thomas: ‘I didn’t think it was possible but after today I’m happier than usual.’
This reporter can’t repeat what winger Phil Maffetone said and wishes he hadn’t heard it. All he can say is that these boys are in great form at the moment and are in peak condition for the journey up to York in the cup clash next week. If anyone can come back with a W then these boys can.
A great day for OURLFC and rugby league in general. Roll on Varsity.