Sat 5 Oct 2019, 15:00
By Matt Lewis
High Wycombe endured a tough afternoon when they came up against a powerful Witney side. In selection, Wycombe were forced into several changes from last weeks victory. Into the starting fifteen came Corrigall, Keir, Butters, Croome, Lewis with Webster, Langenhoven and McDonagh taking their place on the bench. Reading the programme notes Witney were at full strength and were considerably bigger than their visitors.
Wycombe were under pressure from the kick-off when the ball was stripped in a tackle and this allowed the home team to go through the phases. Using both forwards and backs they made inroads into the twenty-two but were penalised for sealing off just before the line. Wycombe cleared their lines but were soon on the back foot again when a knock on presented Witney the ball. After some strong carries there was space on the outside and an accurate kick into the corner allowed the winger to gather the ball and score 5-0. Wycombe hit back with a penalty from Greg Butters when Witney were penalised for crossing in midfield 5-3. Witney replied immediately when a knock on presented them with a scrum on the ten metre line. The ball was fed out to the backs and some accurate passing put the winger into space. He was well tackled but was adjudged not to have been held and got back up to score 12-3. Penalties were hurting the visitors and another penalty this time for leaving the scrum early gave the home team field position. After winning the lineout Wycombe’s defence held out well and Witney were penalised for hands on the floor. Just before half time the home team had another chance to score but once again good defence and the referee’s whistle meant Wycombe survived and went into the break 12-3.
Half Time 12-3
Wycombe started the second half strongly and an excellent break from Jamie Vowles took play into the Witney half. Unfortunately, after some promising phases the visitors knocked on presenting the ball back to the home team. Wycombe were penalised at a scrum and Witney saw the opportunity to go quickly. A good break from the backs took play up to the five metre line, Wycombe scrambled well but were penalised at a ruck and Harry Tanner received a yellow card for going off his feet. Witney opted for the scrum and showed their power with a push over try 17-3. After an excellent kick from Osian Lewis Witney were reduced to fourteen players and this presented Wycombe with good field position. A knock on in midfield gave the home team possession but the visitors soon turned the ball over with some strong work from a combination of Ollie Fennel-Wells and Craig Murray. Some deft hands from the backs put Osian Lewis through a hole, he was well tackled but the home team were penalised giving Wycombe an attacking lineout. A marauding carry from prop Jack Cockram took play up to the try line and with quick ball the ball was fed to Tom Boardman but in trying to reach for the line he dropped the ball. To make matters worse the visitors were penalised at the scrum and then another ten metres for talking back to the referee. Although Wycombe hadn’t created many try scoring opportunities they had defended manfully against much bigger opposition and with five minutes to go the score was still 17-3. Unfortunately, in the last few minutes Witney scored two quick tries to take the score out to 31-3.
Full Time 31-3
Congratulations to Witney who deserved their win with a powerful and clinical performance. If they have this team available every week it will take a very good side to beat them. As for Wycombe they defended resolutely and never gave up but with the enforced changes several players were playing out of position. A special mention to Jack Cockram and Jamie Vowles who both had strong games and to Matt McDonagh who made his debut from the bench.
No game next week with Aylesbury visiting Kingsmead on 19th October