Jack Briggs bagged a brace of tries and Ed Phillips kicked 25 points as Banbury Bulls got back to winning ways in Wadworth 6X South West One East.
In an epic end-to-end contest, Bulls emerged 40-21 victors on Saturday against rivals Oxford Harlequins at the DCS Stadium.
Bulls got off to a great start with Phillips settled any early nerves with a penalty after Quins were penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown. Harlequins saw yellow when Matt White was penalised for hands in the ruck and Phillips kicked the ensuing penalty.
Bulls extended the lead when Briggs broke through the Quins’ line and was stopped narrowly short of the line. A couple phases later, Ian Isham drew the defence before throwing a pass inside to Briggs who ran in untouched to score and Phillips converted.
Rory Garrett got Quins’ first points from a penalty and after the restart won a penalty which they kicked to the corner. Michael Fox saw yellow for collapsing the resulting rolling maul. Quins kicked for the corner again and Joe Nalewabau peeled out after the line-out and crashed his way over.
Phillips kicked a penalty but Quins hit right back with their second try when Ed Yeates drew the last man and played in Antonio Turetta who cut in from out wide to score. Garrett converted to bring Quins back within a point of Bulls.
Quins had the momentum but were back down to 14 after Allan Purchase was shown yellow for a high tackle on Phillips.
Duncan Leese hit a great kick to put Bulls within five metres of the try line. Isham found his man from the line-out and the ball was quickly spread out to the backs, Sam Stoop popped a pass to Briggs who burst through the gap to score.
Phillips converted before Ralph Jones was shown a yellow card after questioning the referee. Garrett got Quins back within a score with another penalty but Phillips kicked a brilliant long-range penalty.
Garrett kicked another penalty but following a scrum five metres out, Ed Berridge popped up and passed to Phillips who went over and he converted to make it 33-21.
Bulls picked up a try bonus point in added-time when Phillips took a quick penalty and ran straight into a high tackle but managed to find Giles Saar who dived over. Phillips made it a perfect day with the boot when he converted and took his personal tally to 25 points.