Bears defeat Oxford in Good Friday Clash

 Bears Jamahl Hunte was on form 

Bears Jamahl Hunte was on form 

Coventry Bears 40

Oxford 28

Butts Park Arena, Good Friday

by Mike Hyde

Bears Maul Oxford to claim first Victory

Oxford came into this match confident after a series of wins, in both league and cup games, while Coventry Bears have had a dismal start to the season, losing every match.

The away side kicked off on an overcast afternoon at Butts Park, and both sides were soon locked in battle with Bear’s battering ram Jack Morrison showing early determination against the Oxford defence.

However, it was Oxford who broke the deadlock, skilfully keeping the ball alive on the last tackle for Jordan Gill to cross over for an unconverted try after 7 minutes.

The Bears were quick to respond, and it was Jack Morrison who carried the ball over from 15 yards out to level the scores. Brad Delaney scored his first conversion of the match.

Coventry were keen to press their advantage, but it was Oxford who scored next after some creative play, with Andrew Hoggins scoring and Scott Fleming converting to bring it to 6-10.

Midway through the first half, Coventry piled on the pressure, and Harry Chapman was at the end of a string of accurate passes to cross over and pull the scores level. Brad Delaney’s conversion put the Bears into a lead they were never to relinquish.

 Brad Delaney lines up the goal  

Brad Delaney lines up the goal  

Coventry continued to dominate and were rewarded just before half time when Jamahl Hunte showed his speed to put the Bears into a 16-10 lead at the interval.

The second half had barely started when Richie Hughescheekily scored from the dummy half position from two yards out, with the conversion now putting the score at 22-10 with 42 minutes on the clock.

 Bears on the attack  

Bears on the attack  

Oxford tried to get back into the game, but looked vulnerable to the counter attack, with Jamahl Hunte looking particularly dangerous, and only being stopped by a tackle which left his adversary in the sin-bin.

Then, midway through the second half, the Bears stepped up agear, with three tries in the space of 8 minutes, with Zach Johnson, Matt Reid and Richie Hughes all scoring tries which were converted, extending the lead to an unassailable 40-10, with just 10 minutes remaining.

 Richie Hughes whose Try in the second half killed any comeback 

Richie Hughes whose Try in the second half killed any comeback 

The match was won, but whether Coventry relaxed, were exhausted or whether their opponents showed true grit, the visitors also scored three tries in quick succession,thanks to Jordan Gill, Dwaine Macrae and Jordan Siddons crossing the line, with all three being converted by Scott Fleming.

Jubilant scenes from Bears players and fans followed the hooter as their losing run ended with a 40-28 scoreline which flattered their opponents . This was a very good victory where everything came right, and now the losing streak has ended, the season can really get going. Bring on Keighley!

 Chris Barratt  

Chris Barratt  

Gamebreaker: Richie Hughes, crushed any hopes of an Oxford revival in the second half.

Gamestar; Jack Morrison, powerhouse prop grinding down the opposition.

Bears

1 Harry Chapman

2 Hayden Freeman

3 Rob Meadows

4 Matt Reid

5 Jamahl Hunte

6 Joe Prior

7 Brad Delaney

23 John Aldred

9 Billy Gaylor

10 Jack Morrison

11 Kieran Sherrat

12 Chris  Barratt

8 Zach Johnson

Subs [all used]

25 Richie Hughes

18 Alex Beddows

16 James Guertjens

17 Dan Gover

Tries; Morrison [11], Chapman [26], Hunte [40], Hughes [42, 68], Johnson [63], Reid [66]

Goals Delaney 6/7

Oxford

1 Kane Riley

2 Joshua Atkinson

3 Thomas Newbould

4 Harvey Burnett

5 Jordan Gill

6 Callum Windley

7 Scott Fleming

8 Dwaine McRae

9 Bradley Moules

10 Stuart Biscomb

11 Jordan Siddons

12 William Cooke

13 Thomas Alexander

Subs [all used]

16 Joshua Kittrick

19 Marcus Brooker

18 Andrew Hoggins

17 Jack Pickles

Tries; Gill [4, 73], Hoggins [10], McRae [77], Siddons [79]

Goals Fleming 4/5

Penalty Count; 15-19

Half Time; 16-10

Referee; Michael Mannifield

Attendance; 303

Scoring Sequence; 0-4, 6-4, 6-10, 12 -10, 16-10, 22-10, 28-10, 34-10, 40-10, 40-16, 40-22, 40-28

Match Sponsor; Halcyons Masters Rugby League- for ages 35-85. 

Match Sponsors MOM was Kieran Sherratt

Match Photography by Mike Townsend

NEXT BEARS MATCH;  3pm kick off, Sunday May 7th at the Butts Park Arena v Keighley.

Bears Media