Fabian claim s a full-house at Oxford
PUBLISHED: 13:02 26 January 2011
John Fabian served up an oustanding shift as the Cockles claimed a fine win at Oxford.
EXMOUTH travelled to Oxford for their latest league game, without a number of regulars.
Having lost their two previous visits to Harlequins, the Cockles arrived with great hope, rather than expectation!
The hosts began brightly and , with the Cockles clearly struggling to handle the ball in the sticky conditions, many opportunities were created for home scores. Fortunately for the Cockles the host kicker had an off-day!
At the other end John Fabian showed how to slot the ball home as he struck following what had been the Cockles first foray into the home 22!
A dangerous tackle on skipper Mark Wathes earned the host’s fly-half a ten minute spell in the sin-bin and, whilst he was out of the action, Fabian struck again and the Cockles had a six point lead.
With the trio of Lloyd Fairbrother, Callum Hill and George Savage producing excellent shifts, the home side struggled to get back at the visitor and they began to run out of ideas as the Cockles repeatedly knocked them back whilst, at the other end, Hill, Chris Strong and Ross Morshead lead the attack with great gusto.
Jack Downie was sin-binned as the half drew to a close and the resultant penalty saw the deficit halved, the Cockles going into the break with a 6-3 lead.
An early second half unconverted try saw the hosts into an 8-8 lead but the Cockles were quick to respond with Joe Heaver and Jack Westlake carrying well aided by the boot of Fabian.
Andrew Powell’s deft chip started a period of pressure. Westlake and Strong made their presence felt and, when the ball was spilled, Matt Ryan’s hack on gave the flying wingman a deserved score. The conversion was missed but the Cockles led 11-8.
Another Cockles raid ended with six foot four inch Fabian reaching out to score and he converted, to extend the lead to 18-8.
The hard working Mike Wilson made way for the fresh legs of Lee Loveridge as the Cockles looked to close the game out.
The hosts did manage to strike with a penalty but Fabian finished what he started with a fine drop goal to complete a superb afternoons work by the number ten a full house of a try, conversion, three penalties and a drop goal.
The final minutes saw a crestfallen home side under the cosh and the final whistle a deserved win on the road for a jubilant Cockles squad.
Director of Rugby Chris Wright said: “The forward platform was key. We were delighted with the impressive return of Chris Strong which we hope he will build on, the front row went particularly well Hooker Callum Hill for me stood out around the field, whilst overall the organisation of the Cockles play was the telling difference”.
This Week the Cockles are at home to Redingensians (2.30pm)