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RUGBY UNION: Battling Witney go down to defeat
6:40pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Rugby
Witney lost 24-12 against local rivals Oxford Harlequins in South West 1 East, despite a battling display at Hailey Road.
They were hoping to build on their opening day victory against Buckingham, but the visitors had the edge.
Quins dominated for long periods of the first league clash between the sides since the 2001-02 season.
They took the lead with a penalty from fly-half Zack Norris on ten minutes.
Six minutes later, a strong 40-metre run from flanker Seisoni Tupou resulted in centre Adam Walsh scoring a a try, which Norris converted from wide out.
Quins stretched the home defence again with player-coach and centre Keni Fisilau’s 30-metre run.
The move finished with prop Pete Boulton driving over for Norris to convert.
Witney replied with two penalties from fly-half Phil Thomas to give themselves hope at half-time.
Thomas’s third penalty made it 17-9 on 50 minutes, but the hosts soon conceded another try.
Fisilau was again the creator with a strong run, which allowed captain and lock Luke Brown to gallop over, with Norris converting.
Witney lock Charlie Ben-nett was yellow carded on 53 minutes, but a 60 seconds later Thomas slotted his fourth penalty.
Quins replacement Sam Bennett and Witney scrum half Gareth Campbell were sin-binned on 60 and 75 minutes respectively, but the visitors could not increase their lead.
Grove stay at the wrong end of the table after losing 23-6 at Towcestrians.
Towcester’s James Falvey and Grove’s Roger Sevier traded early penalties.
Falvey scored the hosts’ opening try and converted it himself from out wide.
Fly-halves Sevier and Falvey slotted another penalty apiece to make it 13-6 at half-time.
Falvey added another pen-alty in a hard-fought second half before converting a try from Martyn Harvey.
Meanwhile, Chipping Nor-ton beat Phoenix 21-3 in their Berks, Bucks & Oxon League Premier Division opener.