RUGBY UNION: Grove clock up club-record century

Witney Gazette: Guy Nicholl Guy Nicholl

SOUTH WEST 1 EAST

GROVE racked up the highest score in their 42-year history by hammering relegated Salisbury 107-7 at Cane Lane.

The hosts ran in 17 tries, led by a five-timer from wing Guy Nicholl, in a phenomenal performance that sent them fourth in the table.

Centre Tom Clipsham got Grove up and running with a fourth-minute try, while Nicholl scored and converted Grove’s second.

It was 24-0 on the half-hour mark as centre Nick Sevier and Nicholl again went over, the latter converting.

Nicholl completed his hat-trick and skipper James Eckert added try No 6, converted by Sevier.

But Grove flanker Dave Wells and Eckert were both sin-binned before Salisbury managed a converted try.

The hosts ran riot in the second half, with Clipsham, No 8 Rory Gratwohl and prop Cash Chivers going over. Sevier converted all three.

Wing Connor Bant got on the scoresheet before Clipsham completed his treble, full back Henry Day converting.

Further tries from replacement Pat Wiltshire, scrum half Joe Chivers, converted by Day, and Nicholl made it 88-7.

Day, Nicholl and Joe Chivers took the tally past 100, with Sevier converting two.

Witney had a more routine victory, beating Newbury 14-6 at Hailey Road.

Two penalties from fly half Phil Thomas saw Witney lead 6-0 at the break, despite having lock Charlie Bennett yellow-carded.

Wing Arron Lambourne went close on 49 minutes, but Richard West’s penalty reduced the arrears for Newbury.

Witney’s sole try came on 62 minutes when prop Jamie Burke crashed over for 11-3.

Jack Muggridge kicked a penalty for Newbury, but Thomas’s drop goal sealed Witney’s win.

Champions Oxford Harlequins suffered a shock 19-15 defeat at relegation-threatened Marlow.

Marlow, who are coached by former Quins supremo John Brodley, led 10-0 after 14 minutes, with full back Nick Carvey kicking a penalty and then converting a try from wing Matt Saunders.

Quins, who felt they had more than enough chances to win the match, hit back with a try from scrum half Ralph Jones.

Two more penalties from Carvey, the latter after Quins No 8 Seisoni Tupou was sin-binned for a third match running, made it 16-5.

Tries from wing Ed Tickle and centre Adam Walsh gave Quins hope, before Carvey slotted a fourth penalty.

Quins full back Will Hilton ignored a two-man overlap, while Tupou was stopped just short, so Marlow held on.

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