Witney 12 - 22 Winchester

Winchester played away against Witney last Saturday.

They were first on the scoreboard with a penalty kicked by full-back Tommy Hare, after Witney were caught offside.

But that was to be Winchester’s only score in the first half, as Witney, unbeaten at home for over twelve months, since February 2023, went on to score a try by winger Rhys Morgan, converted by centre Dom Coe, and deep into added time an unconverted try by winger Callum Godfrey.

Winchester were down to 14 players on the half-hour when flanker Wilf Nicholson was shown a yellow card for repeated handling in the ruck by referee Dan Shotton. Half-time came with Witney leading 12-3.

Back to 15 men, Winchester went on to score 19 unanswered points in the second half.

Two more Hare penalties for breakdown infringements brought the score to 12-9, and Winchester were gaining momentum, with all the action in the Witney half.

Hare converted a penalty and kicked another to the corner. From the lineout Winchester mauled over the line for a try touched down by prop and vice-captain Alex Lee and converted by Hare. 12-19.

By now Winchester were dominant. A rare Witney visit to their half from a tap-and-go penalty resulted in a lineout from which Winchester scrum-half Tom Fieldsend cleared back downfield.

Winchester’s forwards were now on the rampage. The pressure on Witney told, and they conceded yet another penalty. Hare’s conversion brought his personal tally to 17. At the end of the match, Winchester had won 12-22, further cementing their position at second place in the RFU’s Central South Regional 2 league.

After the match Winchester coach Gareth Martin said “Tommy Hare was just outstanding. He was a constant threat with the ball in hand and kicking off the tee. And our pack was tremendous throughout.”