Banbury Bulls returned from South West One East leaders Maidenhead smarting from a 38-0 defeat on Saturday.
The unbeaten leaders ran in six unanswered tries in a fast paced game on a 3G pitch that Banbury struggled to get into throughout the 80 minutes.
The afternoon, a warm bright one perfect for quick running rugby on the 3G pitch, started badly for Bulls. The hosts’ first attack caught the new boys napping as Maidenhead’s tight-head was able to pick up from a ruck and dot down before the visitors noticed he had done so.
A successful kick and Bulls were 7-0 down with as many minutes on the clock.
The rest of the half was to go the way of the hosts as they ran in three more tries. Bulls put up some resilient defence through the half and made the hosts work for tries number two and three.
But an interception inside their own 22 allowed Maidenhead to run nearly the length to close out the half 24-0 up. A deserved lead but Bulls would feel that, but for, a couple of mistakes the points’ difference might have been closer.
The second half saw Bulls try to establish themselves in the game. The lack of ball retention and phase play that hampered the first half started to be addressed.
Loose passes and unforced errors were reduced as they took on board head coach James Kerr’s halftime briefing.
Banbury’s defence also improved and it took until well inside the last 20 minutes of the game for the hosts to cross the whitewash again. The game ended with Maidenhead breaking away for their sixth as the fullback outpaced the Bulls defence and crossed under the sticks to complete the victory.