On Saturday 10th June, new rugby league team Bath Rugby League welcomed Oxford Cavaliers to their Chippenham RFC, Allington Fields home ground looking to do the double over them after a hard fought 32-30 away win earlier in the season. After a close first half with the score being 14-10 to Oxford at half time it was all to play for in the second half, but the Oxford forward power told in the end after Bath suffered a number of injuries to forwards in the first half which didn’t aid their cause.
Oxford, dropped down from Conference League South a couple of years ago, and have a link with the Oxford semi-professional side which operates in Championship League 1. However, like Bath they are building a new squad in 2017 and both clubs a competing in a very strong West of England League group where any club is capable of beating anyone on their day.
The opening first quarter of the game was scoreless, and it was Bath’s Max Ojomoh in only his second game of Rugby League made a break in centre field, then rounding the full-back to score a great try underneath the posts for Alex Burn’s to convert. Jay Patterson fresh from his representative debut for the Prison Service Rugby League team in their fixture against the British Police in Rochdale on Thursday night, managed to barge his way over for a typical try for him using his speed and power. Oxford went over for 3 first half tries but only managed to convert one for a half time lead of 14-10.
Oxford gained more momentum in the second half with their forward power making carving holes in the defence, but Bath did start well and scored a sublime try in a well worked move for Alex Burns to go in out wide. Alex successfully converted his own try, Burns also scored a second try this time converted by Luxembourg Rugby Union international Full-back Ciaran Keane. At this point the score was 32-22 to Oxford with an opportunity for Bath to come back and win the game but that wasn’t to be as Bath gave away possession from a tap penalty and Oxford scored two further tries. However, Captain Tom Plance gained some consolation racing away to score a try out wide after a 50 metre run.
Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It was a tight game in the first half, much like our away encounter with Oxford. However, Oxford pulled away in the later part of the second half using their experienced forwards to punch holes down centre field. While Oxford won the forward battle aided by numerous Bath forward injuries Bath backs dominated with some great interplay, exciting times ahead with all still to play for in the league. It is also pleasing that people are contacting the club wanting to be part of what we are doing with Bath Rugby League, please come and learn more about Bath Rugby League by attending training on Wednesday night at the excellent Chippenham RFC facilities 7pm start, new players of all abilities always welcome with no experience of Rugby League necessary.”
With the final score of 42-26, Bath remain in 3rd place in West of England Pool but will look to make amends in their next West of England League fixture when they play Bristol Sonics at Dings RFC on Wednesday 21st June, 7.30pm kick off. Bath beat local rivals Bristol Sonics at home in their inaugural fixture so the Sonics will be looking to make amends after they are still without a win this season. There is all to play for in the league with a number of teams including Bath still capable of making the important top two in the group which is important for the top tier play off series with the other West of England group.
Bath Rugby League would like to hear from anyone who is interested in supporting and developing the club. Training is 7pm on Wednesday at the excellent Chippenham RFC facilities and we encourage players of all abilities to come and join in the excitement of being involved with the club. The club are also looking for advisory board members, potential sponsors, and personal who might be interested in establishing youth, junior and women’s playing opportunities.
You can contact the club via the following methods:
Phone: Chris Chatten on 07810 552196