Oxford Match Report
Bears fall short despite a fightback
Oxford 28 Coventry Bears 24
Match Report by Mike Hyde
A series of errors in a poor first half and a couple of contested decisions cost the Bears dearly in a match they could, and should have won on Saturday afternoon in Abingdon.
The tone of the match was set early on when Oxford took advantage of an interception when the Bears were in possession. The conversion extended the lead to 6-0.
Bears attacking flair soon came to the fore again as Matt Reid offloaded the ball while being tackled, setting Hayden Freeman free to score.
The Bears could have had more points on the scoreboard had Jack Morrison not been adjudged to have knocked on as he crossed the Oxford line.
However, the Bears were soon in the lead as Jason Bass’s pass set JamahlHunte free to cross over in the corner.
Oxford then scored twice with identical moves as high kicks on the last tackle put their players over, and the 18-8 scorelineshowed the game was slipping away from the Bears.
Then, as they tried to respond a sloppy Bears pass set their opponents free again, and the error strewn half ended 24-8.
The Bears came out for thesecond half with more resolve, and good play by Hunte and Reid set Hayden Freeman free for his second try of the game, and this time Brad Delaney was successful with the conversion.
The comeback continued as James Kelly seized on an opening and put team mate Matt Reid over. However, Oxford were able to reply and restore their lead to 28-18.
It looked like Jamahl Hunte had put the ball down over the line again, but again the referee ruled otherwise, so Brad Delaney’s try after an interception wasn’t enough to win the game as the hooter sounded with Oxford still having a four point lead.
Bears MoM: Billy Gaylor.
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