Banbury Bulls pulled off an incredible late comeback to beat Chippenham 26-22 on Saturday to go second in Wadworth 6X South West One.
Bulls were trailing 22-12 and down to 13 men following two yellow cards with ten minutes to go at the DCS Stadium. But late tries from Ed Phillips and Sam Stoop saw them snatch victory with the final play of the game to leap-frog Chippenham.
Bulls got off to the perfect start with an early Josh Deegan try. Good play from the backs saw Tommy Gray slip-in the onrushing Deegan who broke through a couple tackles before touching down in the corner.
Matthew Powell nearly scored with a solo effort, bursting through the Chippenham line close to the half way line only to be stopped five metres out. But a couple phases later Stoop threw a great pass to pull the opposition out of position, Chris Phillips collected and dived over with Ed Phillips converting.
Chippenham got back into the game with a break from deep. Brad Doggett broke down the right, drew the last man before passing inside to Aaron Clarke who ran in untouched and Dan Wainwright converted.
Andy Rossiter saw yellow for Chippenham after a high tackle but the visitors scored next. Sam Saunders took a quick penalty and eventually the ball was off-loaded to Jacob Unwin whose perfectly timed run saw him burst through the Banbury defensive line untouched to score, meaning the two sides turned around at 12-12.
After the restart, Chippenham took the lead with a Wainwright penalty and from the kick-off the visitors scored again. Tom Foggerty took a quick penalty, sprinted through the Banbury defence which had not retreated ten metres, he off-loaded to Unwin who sprinted from out wide to touch down under the posts and Wainwright converted.
With ten minutes to go Powell got a yellow card for a high tackle and 30 seconds later Matt Brock followed him for not retreating ten metres after another penalty.
But Bulls dug deep and gave it everything they had for the last ten minutes, urged on by their supporters. Ed Phillips was off target with a penalty but Bulls were not done.
From a line-out, Ian Isham exchanged passes with Angus Johnson and the Banbury skipper made a brilliant break down the side-line but was stopped short. Ed Phillips threw a dummy before sniping his way over from close range in the corner.
Ed Phillips converted and Bulls had the momentum, especially when Brad Doggett got a yellow card.
Bulls advanced into the 22, Jack Briggs smashed his way through the Chippenham line before off-loading to Gray who spun the ball out wide to Joe Mills who was stopped five metres out. Ed Phillips picked up from the back of the ruck and was also stopped narrowly short of the try line but Stoop darted his way over.
Ed Phillips kicked the conversion with what proved to be the final play of the game and Bulls had pulled it off.