Banbury Bulls completed their first double of the campaign and moved into the top five on the back of it.
Bulls ended 2016 with a bonus point 43-22 victory in Saturday’s South West One East fixture against a physical Chippenham outfit.
Banbury’s seven-try success saw Josh Deegan and Matt Goode cross the line twice at Bodicote Park.
The game started brightly with Banbury’s second attack resulting in a try.
First-phase ball from the line-out was carried up by the impressive Cashel Chilvers. That allowed the backs room to work with and Matt Goode picked a line between two defenders to go over, leaving Ed Phillips with a simple conversion.
Another successful line-out and big carry from the pack saw Ed Phillips try to nip around the ruck. He was stopped but Michael Fox cleaned up and Chris Phillips scooped up the ball and evaded a couple of defenders to stretch out for the line.
Another successful kick by Ed Phillips gave Bulls a 14-0 lead before Chippenham reduced the arrears with a penalty. Bulls replied when they stole a line-out, worked the phases in midfield and the ball was moved wide for Deegan to slip inside the cover defence to cross in the corner.
Before halftime Chippenham gained good field position for a line-out. The initial drive was stopped but the forwards worked around the fringe until they finally broke through to score.
Bulls started the second half strongly and fly-half Sam Stoop kicked the ball deep into Chippenham’s 22. An untidy line-out was lost by the visitors and cleaned up by skipper Ian Isham who powered his way over.
Ed Phillips added the conversion and quickly added another.
Going through phases to secure a better platform, Goode hit a hard line off Stoop on the edge of the 22 to score under the posts.
Academy Colt Dan Brady scored on his debut following a line-out on halfway when Chilvers carried the ball hard and deep into Chippenham territory. With the defence breached, Bulls quickly moved the ball to the left where Brady finished well in the corner.
Chippenham’s centre got a straight red card before the visitors gained field position and worked multiple phases to go around the ruck to score.
Banbury’s seventh try came from a scrum inside their own half. Going to the blind-side, full-back Joe Mills kick ahead for Deegan to win the race for the line. Chippenham scored again with the final play of the game.