Thursday, 07 July 2022

Cup final heartache for Berkshire sides

RAMS prop Ant Marris grabbed the crucial try with less than two minutes remaining as Oxfordshire beat a Berkshire side including 12 of his clubmates 7-5 to win the Division 3 final of the Bill Beaumont County Championship on Saturday.

It was Berkshire who opened the scoring at Richmond with their only try arriving at the end of the first quarter, skipper Max Hayman peeling off the back of a maul before flicking a pass out of the tackle to free Maidenhead prop Elio Mandozzi to cross on the right.

Louis Ellis was unable to add the extras, but his side still went into the break in front.

The second half proved a pointless affair until right at the death, but it was the Rams’ coaches’ player of the year, Marris, who burrowed over from close range to touch down under the posts.

Oxfordshire’s James Miller landed a simple conversion to hit the front, and despite a couple of powerful charges from replacement Spencer Hayhow, Berkshire could not breach the defensive line and were eventually forced into touch to cue celebrations for their neighbours.

Berkshire Women put in a brave effort but were ultimately defeated 40-5 by Leicestershire in the Division 1 final of the Gill Burns County Championship at Twickenham.

The Royal County side, which featured Abbey and Henley players, put in a brave display but having slipped into the break 19-0 down, an Annabel Hawkins try was all they could muster in the second period as they had to settle for the runners-up medals.

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