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RUGBY UNION: Grove close in on leaders
10:30am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Rugby
Southern Counties North
GROVE closed to within a point of leaders Reading Abbey after a 40-0 home victory over Drifters.
But victory came at a cost, with flanker Matt Young suffering a fractured jaw and cheekbone after an accidental blow to the head.
Young was taken by ambulance to hospital and is unlikely to play again this season.
Hooker Steve Dixey scored Grove’s opening try, full back Roger Sevier converting, while flanker Dave Wells impressed with his workrate.
Lock Lee Wright, centre Nick Sevier and prop James Eckert all crossed over as Grove secured a bonus point, Roger Sevier converting two.
Second row Paul Miles added try No 5 and although Nick Sevier was ruled held up, scrum half Owen Gustafson completed their tally, Roger Sevier converting both.
Wallingford’s relegation fears increased with a 20-16 home defeat to drop-zone rivals Tadley.
And they suffered a further blow when centre Ralph Smith broke his collarbone in the first half.
Full back Henry Venners barged over for Wallingford’s opening try, scrum half Will Bishop converting.
Tadley replied with a converted try, while Wallingford had hooker Henry Zaluzny sin-binned.
Despite being down to 14 men, the hosts retook the lead at the start of the second half, with Bishop slotting a drop goal and a penalty.
Replacement Rich Bower was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on and Tadley took advantage with a converted try and two penalties.
Tadley had a prop yellow-carded, and although Bishop kicked another three-pointer, the visitors held on.
Alchester almost helped Grove go top, only losing 27-24 at home to leaders Reading Abbey.
Abbey took the lead with a converted try, but Alchester centre Matt Flegg charged in from 20 metres for fly half Tom Miles to convert.
Miles added a penalty, but Abbey bagged another converted try and a penalty of their own.
Alchester went close through captain Tom Isles and Flegg, but a penalty and another converted try put Abbey 27-10 ahead.
Despite having prop Jamie Jones in the sin, Alchester hit back with full back Andy Blacklock scything through for Miles to convert.
Miles also converted a penalty try on 75 minutes, awarded after Flegg was taken out by a high tackle when destined to score.
Abbey had a late try disallowed as the referee did not see the grounding