Banbury Bulls enjoyed a 30-14 victory over Malvern in Saturday’s Midlands Two West South fixture at Bodicote Park but again missed out on a bonus point.
That means they still trail leaders Old Laurentians and Newbold-on-Avon by nine points.
Following last week’s defeat at Leamington, head coach James Kerr made changes to the starting line up as Nick Pratt came back into the second row, Sam Mills in the back row and Joe Mills at full back.
The opening exchanges were slightly disjointed as both teams looked to find their rhythm but it was the home side that did so first.
A good platform at the scrum saw Josh Deegan cross the 22 and scored under the posts and Ed Phillips converted. Soon after Phillips added a penalty.
Malvern struggled to get a foot hold before Mickey Fox received a yellow card or an infringement at the breakdown. Another yellow was shown before the break, this time to the Malvern loose head for an infringement at the scrum, and Phillips added two more penalties to take a 16-0 lead into the break.
Malvern started the second half stronger and scored a penalty try, which was converted by Richard Flemming. Bulls defended well and countered through Phillips, whose break led to a chip over the top into space, with Jed Boyle winning the foot race to get the score and Phillips converted to make it 23-7.
Malvern replied well as Fleming made a strong run in midfield and shrugged off a couple of would be tackles to score a neat try, which he duly converted.
Bulls continued to attack and were rewarded when Boyle cruised over for his second try. Bulls punched holes in the Malvern midfield and recycled the ball well in the 22 for the ball to be shipped down the line where Boyle had more than enough room to cross the line, Phillips converted to make the score 30-14 at the final whistle.