RUGBY UNION: Gosford cap season by lifting Shield

The Oxford Times: Gosford celebrate with the Oxfordshire Shield Gosford celebrate with the Oxfordshire Shield

Gosford All Blacks rounded off a successful season by lifting the trophy for a second time after a hard-earned 24-13 victory over Wheatley in the Oxfordshire Shield final at Witney.

It was Gosford’s third triumph of the campaign, having taken the National Area Vase and their 2nd XV having won their league.

Wheatley have also had a good season, finishing second in the BB&O Championship, but they had to give best to their Premier opposition.

Stephen Edwards, with a clear run to the line, scored an early unconverted try for All Blacks.

But two penalties from the boot of full back Duncan Dingle edged Wheatley 6-5 ahead.

All Blacks responded with scrum half Will Watts, son of successful coach Matt, following his own kick ahead and then sending in Ben Bodinham in under the posts for a try he converted for a 12-6 lead.

Gosford stretched their lead when fly half Bill Smith made space to send in bustling centre Jack Briggs for a try. Bodinham’s conversion made it 19-6 at the break.

Gosford were disrupted as both Dan Hughes and Richard Collins were sin-binned.

The balance shifted to Wheatley and centre Adam Muir’s try, converted by Dingle, made it 19-13.

Once back to full strength Gosford sealed the victory with an unconverted try from flanker Eugene Griffin.

So skipper Andrew Simm was able to receive the Shield after the game.

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