Matt Goode produced an inspired performance as Banbury Bulls made it five wins on the spin.
Bulls triumphed 27-14 at Trowbridge in Saturday’s thrilling Wadworth 6X South West One East fixture.
The score line might not suggest a classic but it was a brilliant game of rugby, bruising, physical but played in the right way. Trowbridge were unfortunate not to get anything from the game.
Much of that was down to player-coach Goode who produced some huge hits in defence, brilliant line breaks and a try at the end to cap a fine game.
After a great run from Goode, Trowbridge were penalised for not rolling away and Ed Phillips kicked the ensuing penalty to give Bulls the early lead.
But Trowbridge went in front after a great line break from Stephen Oakley who off-loaded to Andrew Twinney, he crashed over from close range and Tom Weaver added the extras.
Bulls lost Steve Potter and Chris Phillips through injury but got their first try when wing Jack Briggs made a great break before off-loading to Sam Mills who was stopped narrowly short of the line. Jacob Mills gathered the ball and got the ball to Joe Mills who dived over in the corner.
Ed Phillips converted to give Bulls the interval advantage.
But Trowbridge started the second half with a great try from deep. The impressive Stephen Oakley burst his way through the Banbury line and some good link-up play eventually saw John King dive over and Weaver converted.
Bulls regained the lead when Briggs made a great break down the line and Ed Phillips gathered at the base of the ruck to dart over from close range.
Bulls extended their lead after Ed Phillips was held up. From the resulting five metre scrum, the backs got the ball wide for Duncan Leese to play in Briggs who crossed over in the corner.
Ed Phillips got a yellow card after a cynical penalty and, with an extra man, Trowbridge went looking for a late try that could have won the game.
Two big chances went begging when Trowbridge knocked-on just before the line and Briggs also intercepted what looked like a certain try. The winger broke clear but a brilliant covering tackle from Stephen Oakley stopped him narrowly short of the line.
Bulls scored a bonus point try with barely a minute left. Sam Stoop was stopped just short but Goode gathered from the base of the ruck and drove his way over. Leese converted to round things off.