RUGBY UNION: Brave Witney bow out to Harlequins

Witney’s Adam Copperwheat is stopped in his tracks by Charlie Ward during their Oxfordshire Cup semi-final defeat against Oxford Harlequins

Witney’s Adam Copperwheat is stopped in his tracks by Charlie Ward during their Oxfordshire Cup semi-final defeat against Oxford Harlequins

First published in Sport

A battling display from Witney proved in vain as they went down to a 32-23 defeat at Oxford Harlequins in the semi-finals.

Quins’ prolific full back Jack Robinson added two more tries to his tally, but his side had to fight back from 15-13 down in the second half.

Witney were still in the semi-final at 25-23 before centre Mike Lee’s last-minute try, converted by fly half Will Hilton, sealed Quins’ victory.

Robinson ran in a spectacular opening try from 85 metres, but Witney replied with a penalty from fly half Phil Thomas.

Hilton’s penalty was then cancelled out by a Thomas drop goal, before Quins wing Ed Tickle went over in the corner.

Witney closed the gap with penalties from Thomas either side of half-time, and the fly half’s fourth successful place-kick put the visitors ahead on 56 minutes.

With No 8 Seisoni Tupou in top form, Quins still threatened and retook the lead on 65 minutes.

A catch-and-drive line-out move saw flanker Richard Battson go over to put the hosts 18-15 ahead.

Eight minutes later, following bouts of recycling near the Witney line, Robinson dived over for his second try, which Hilton converted from the touchline.

Thomas soon reduced the arrears with a penalty and Witney were right back in it when lock Charlie Bennett scored their only try.

An upset was still on until Lee’s final-play try and Hilton’s conversion.

On Saturday, Witney entertain Marlow in South West 1 East.

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