25 June 2017 – University of Gloucestershire All Golds 38 Oxford 10
Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham
The trip to near-neighbours Gloucestershire All Golds saw a fourth consecutive League 1 defeat for Oxford. The game had a similar pattern to the last away game, which was at London Skolars. At half-time the scores were close, but the home side pulled away in the second half.
All Golds opened the scoring with an unconverted try after just 55 seconds, wing Mo Agoro jumping highest to claim the ball from a kick on the last tackle and was then able to stroll over the line. Although not initially involved in the play, Oxford full-back Kane Riley was injured in the exchange and had to go off, forcing an immediate reshuffle.
Oxford hit back with two tries during the best period of the match. An All Golds knock-on and a forced goal-line drop-out gave the visitors three consecutive sets near the goal-line. The pressure told when Scott Fleming moved the ball out to the right for Marcus Brooker to score against his former club.
Five minutes later, and in another repeat set, Casey Canterbury went through a hole in the defence, another try-scorer playing against his former club. Both tries were towards the touchline, and against a strong blustery wind Harvey Burnett was unable to convert either.
In this spell, Brad Moules, Callum Windley and Casey Canterbury were all able to jink through the defensive line at will. All Golds were reduced to 12 men when Lewis Reece was sent to the sin-bin and that looked to provide a chance for Oxford to move further ahead. Instead All Golds immediately drove downfield. Good defence stopped their first chance, but Steve Parry was able to burrow under several tacklers to score his 100th career try.
Before half-time All Golds wasted several other excellent chances to score. Oxford debutant Adam Dent made a superb try-saving tackle to force a handling error from wing Chris Barlow when Barlow had looked to be already over the line. Then Harvey Burnett knocked the ball out of Agoro’s hands as he was about to touch down. Play continued as the ball went backwards into the in-goal area, but it was then knocked on by an All Golds player who really only needed to touch the ball on the ground to score.
Oxford’s last chance of the half ended when the lively Jordan Siddons was gang-tackled into touch a few yards from the try-line. So at half-time there were only two points in it.
Oxford gradually got on top in the early exchanges after the break, and 15 minutes into the second half the scores were level at 10 apiece when Burnett slotted over a penalty.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got, with All Golds scoring five tries to none in the remainder of the game. Firstly, Harrison Elliott went in under the posts and the clinching moments came when Steve Parry and Chris Barlow scored in quick succession.
Oxford were now clearly tired, with numerous injuries having used up substitutions and restricting the number of players available to use as interchanges. In the final 10 minutes James Walter and Billy Brickhill closed out the game with further tries.
Oxford will look to bounce back at home to North Wales this Sunday (kick-off 2pm at Tilsley Park), and to get revenge against All Golds in the League 1 Shield.
All Golds – 1 Phil Cowburn, 2 Mo Agoro, 3 Lewis Reece, 4 Brad Kislingbury, 5 Chris Barlow, 6 Courtney Davies, 7 Jack Mitchell, 8 James Walter, 9 Steve Parry, 10 Harry Kidd, 11 Chris Worrall, 12 Joe McClean, 13 Harrison Elliott
Interchanges: 14 Billy Brickhill, 15 Brad Hargreaves, 16 Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, 17 Richard Jones
Tries: Mo Agoro (1), Steve Parry (19), Harrison Elliott (57), Steve Parry (63), Chris Barlow (65), James Walter (71), Billy Brickhill (76)
Other Goals: Courtney Davies (5 from 7)
Oxford – 2 Kane Riley, 1 Scott Fleming, 3 Harvey Burnett, 4 Marcus Brooker, 5 Adam Dent, 6 Callum Windley, 7 Casey Canterbury, 19 Dwaine McRae, 9 Brad Moules, 25 Jake Joynt, 11 Jordan Siddons, 12 Tom Alexander, 8 Jonny Payne
Interchanges: 14 Mark Hayes, 15 Anthony Cox, 16 Josh Kittrick, 17 Fran Welsh
Tries: Marcus Brooker (9), Casey Canterbury (14)
Penalty Goal: Harvey Burnett (55)
Other Goals: Harvey Burnett (0 from 2)
Half-time – All Golds 10 Oxford 8
Full-time – All Golds 38 Oxford 10
Scoring sequence – 4-0, 4-4, 4-8, 10-8, 10-10, 16-10, 22-10, 26-10, 32-10, 38-10
Referee – Michael Mannifield
Penalties – All Golds 10 Oxford 8
Sin-bin – Lewis Reece (All Golds) – 17 minutes