Head coach Matt Goode had called for an 80-minute performance from Banbury Bulls and he finally got one.
Bulls produced their most complete performance of the Wadworth 6X South West One East campaign to run out 35-5 winners against Stratford Upon Avon on Saturday.
Nick Pratt came off the bench to bag a second half brace while Ed Phillips, Dan Brady and Sam Stoop also scored tries as Bulls pick up a five-point victory at the DCS Stadium.
Bulls got off to the perfect start with some brilliant work from the forwards. Despite Stratford having the put-in at a five-metre scrum following a knock-on, Bulls pushed the visitors’ pack over the try line, the ball popped out and Phillips touched down before adding the extras.
Not to be out done by the forwards, the backs soon got in on the act for the next score. Stoop released Goode who handed off his opposite number, passed to Joe Mills who drew the next man before releasing Brady who stepped inside the fullback to sprint under the posts and leave Phillips with a simple conversion.
Bulls showed some brilliant defence to keep Stratford out after long periods of sustained pressure from the visitors leading up to halftime.
After the restart, Stoop had score ruled out for a forward pass but Bulls already had a penalty advantage and went for a five-metres scrum. Jimmy Manley was held up but the ball was recycled and Phillips slipped in halftime replacement Pratt who charged over from close range.
Phillips converted and Bulls secured their try bonus point early in the second half after Stratford kicked deep from the edge of their own 22. Brady caught the ball before releasing Mills who picked his way through the Stratford defence and passed inside to Stoop who beat the covering defence to score in the corner.
Phillips maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot to make it 28-0 before Pratt scored his second try of the game late on.
The impressive Giles Saar made good ground before Phillips tried to sneak his way over. Stratford managed to keep Phillips out but Pratt picked up at the base of the ruck and smashed his way over under the posts.
Phillips converted to make it 35-0 but Stratford had the final word when they picked up a consolation try in added-time. Tom Hall picked up at the base of a ruck and ran through a gap in the Banbury defence to score wide to the left.