Match Report
Bloxham School 1st XV vs  Magdalen College School
On: Saturday, 09 Oct 2021
Venue: Away

MCS Oxford 19, Bloxham 29

This was a strange match which Bloxham looked like winning comfortably for the first 40 minutes, then seemed as if they might lose, only for a resounding finish, with three tries in the last 15 minutes, to ensure the victory their efforts deserved.

Playing in the beautiful surroundings of the Island alongside the Cherwell on a sunny afternoon, Bloxham started like an express train, scoring in the first few minutes through Archie Armitage and immediately afterwards appearing to score in the corner through Callum Tarbit, only to see it chalked off for a foot in touch. Another try for the forwards, from Dougie Oliver, maintained the momentum and established a 12-0 lead, but after that Bloxham rather lost their way as they struggled to adapt to the referee’s expectations, and a try for the home side made it 12-5 at half-time.

After words of encouragement at the interval from stand-in coach Mr Richardson, the expectation was that Bloxham would now focus on making their superiority up front count, but instead a frustrating period of play witnessed two further tries from MCS to put them 19-12 ahead amidst a stream of penalties and three yellow cards for Bloxham players. Having got themselves into a tricky situation, Bloxham proceeded to rescue themselves in the last fifteen minutes, chiefly through some great forward runs, especially from Felix Hunt and Alex Myles, whom the home defence struggled to contain all afternoon. Hunt scored after a lengthy period of possession in the MCS 22, and two tries by a determined James Gurney sealed a memorable if fraught victory, with the one disappointment a red card for a tip tackle from Alex Myles. The boys deserve congratulations for coping with adversity; Armitage and Oliver, joint men of the match, epitomised the side’s determination to prevail.

SJB