Es­sex given a big scare af­ter the in­ter­val

The Rugby Paper - - Results - By CHRIS HUGHES

ES­SEX moved top of the Pool One ta­ble in Divi­sion Three as they held off a late

Ox­ford­shire come­back to make it two wins from two from the com­pe­ti­tion.

Es­sex ap­peared to be in cruise con­trol as they raced into a 30-7 lead at Hen­ley RFC, only for the hosts to come roar­ing back – and onyl a missed con­ver­sion at the death stopped them snatch­ing an un­likely win, as they went down 30-29.

Ox­ford­shire missed two early penal­ties, but the vis­i­tors made no such mis­take to move 3-0 ahead through Henry Bird be­fore a Tom Simp­son try and another for the im­pres­sive Bami Coker made the score 17-0.

Oxford Har­lequins full­back Ed Yeates got his side on the board with a neat score, con­verted by Ed Phillips, but that was only a brief respite as a Bird penalty, and tries from Lewis Prat­ley and hooker Mar­cus Bloomberg moved Es­sex 23 points ahead.

But Ge­orge Prim­mett and Ge­orge Lane dot­ted down and Roddy Giles slot­ted a penalty to get Ox­ford­shire within six.

When winger Harry Burn then crossed at the death, the hosts had a chance to snatch the win but Phillips couldn’t slot the con­ver­sion. Else­where,

fell to their se­cond de­feat in as many weeks as

cruised to a 30-10 vic­tory.

Bucks had suf­fered a heart­break­ing 32-25 de­feat to Ox­ford­shire in their opener a week ago but bounced back in style to put the Mid­lands out­fit to the sword.

Pat Ock­endon was the star of the show as he ran in two tries for the hosts to keep them within strik­ing dis­tance of top spot.

And in Divi­sion Three’s other game, edged their way past 19-13 thanks to an im­pres­sive se­cond-half show­ing.

Jamie Dig­gle grabbed the game’s open­ing score for Sus­sex, but two Nick Wack­witz penal­ties put Berk­shire ahead, and he then con­verted Omar El­laboudy’s try.

But two Car­les Casanova penal­ties and a late try handed the vis­i­tors the win.

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