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Bloxham School 1st XV Reach Last 16 of NatWest Vase

Bloxham advanced to the last 16 of the NatWest Vase this week with a hard-fought 15-6 victory over Richard Hale School from Hertford in difficult conditions on a cold but sunny afternoon.

Bloxham started strongly, with some direct running and good off-loading causing problems for the Richard Hale defence, a beautiful long pass from Jake Dew setting up the first try after a barnstorming run down the wing by George Cassell. It was very well converted by Jake Manning to put Bloxham 7-3 up after an early penalty for the home side. Unfortunately, an injury to Jake Dew (a dislocated shoulder) enforced a move onto the adjacent pitch, which was wet and muddy. The game lost its shape after this, and Bloxham were grateful for a well-taken try in the corner from Jack Briggs, playing his first game since early October after injury, reaching out to score in the corner. This stretched the Bloxham lead after a second Richard Hale penalty, and a penalty from Jake Manning sealed the win. The team played some nice handling rugby considering that this game came so soon after the Christmas holiday, and they tackled with great determination to deny Richard Hale a try, but there were definite signs of rustiness, and they know they will have to work hard before their next game in the Sixth Round.

The Bloxham team awaits the result of next week’s match between the Leys and Bishops Vesey’s to see where they will have to travel in the last 16 of the competition.

Many thank to Bloxham parent Simon Grieve for the fantastic photos.