Banbury Bulls kept the pressure on the Midlands Two West South leaders following Saturday’s 44-5 bonus point victory over Droitwich at Bodicote Park.
But, while head coach James Kerr will be satisfied to garner a full haul of points, it was a far from flawless performance as a lack of composure led to several chances going begging.
Skipper Eddie Phillips again led the way with a personal haul of 24 points but it was a good all round performance from Bulls with the forwards winning the lion’s share of the ball for the hard running back division.
Bulls soon had points on the board with a Phillips penalty and while the Droitwich defence was opened up several times a misplaced pass or handling error kept their line intact. It was left to the Phillips boot to extend the lead with a second penalty.
Bulls’ cause was not helped by an injury to centre Jimmy Manley, who had to be replaced by Joe Mills. Despite the change, Bulls continued to press and with halftime approaching Lionel Byrne found a gap in the defence for the opening try.
That was soon followed by a second try as James Heywood and Byrne opened up the defence to feed Dan Tooth, available after his winning his disciplinary hearing, to score. With Phillips converting both tries Bulls held a 20-0 lead at the break.
Bulls continued to dominate in the second period with Phillips adding a penalty and a conversion after fine a try from Mills who took a clever off load from Josh Deegan.
The bonus point was secured when Phillips finished off a good move for a try he converted himself. Holding a commanding lead, Bulls took the foot of the pedal allowing Droitwich to enjoy their best spell of the game.
The defence proved equal to the challenge and when a Droitwich backs movement went astray Tooth hacked on the loose ball regathering on halfway and outpacing the covering defence to the line. Droitwich did have the final say with a consolation try from Will Baillon with the last play of the game.