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Somerset Vikings 39, Oxford Cavaliers 30
5:41pm Monday 16th July 2012 in Sport
SOMERSET Vikings returned to winning ways after the disappointment of recent weeks with a home win at Bridgwater against a lively Oxford Cavaliers side.
In completing the double over Oxford, the Vikings returned to the top of the table although the situation is so tight that any of five teams could head the league after the remaining games and all are in the mix for the play-offs.
Veteran Chris Richards opened the scoring after just five minutes but it was then nip-and-tuck as each side took time to settle.
Oxford took the lead after 20 minutes but Brian Webb restored the home side’s lead and this time Dan Hinton made no mistake in adding the extras.
Oxford scored two well-worked tries in three minutes but the Vikings ended the half in the ascendancy through a classic close-range try from Lees to make the score 18-16 to Oxford at the break.
The second half was evenly poised with the play ebbing and flowing from end to end. Richards added his second four-pointer of the afternoon, Hinton converting, but this was nullified by Jack Briggs scoring to provide Turner with another chance for two points in front of the posts. Yet again, the visitors took the lead.
The Vikings repeatedly threatened the Oxford line and, with frustration growing, Hinton decided on a field goal attempt which was successful and thus cut the arrears to just the single point.
Ian Miller broke through following a Vikings knock-on to extend the Cavaliers advantage, but the Vikings were saving the best to last. Sonny Haines surged through a tiring defence, Hinton added the extras, and again the gap was down to a single point. With four minutes remaining, Richards scored his third try of the afternoon and Hinton pushed the lead to five points.
And Johnston had the last word with a weaving 20 metre break to score in the corner and the Vikings took the honours.