WITNEY were forced to dig deep before earning a 16-15 victory over bottom side Reading at Hailey Road.

Fly half Henry Lamb’s 63rd-minute penalty proved the difference in the South West 1 East encounter.

Witney started well and Lamb kicked the hosts into a 3-0 lead, before Reading responded through the boot of Rob Sweeney.

The visitors made it 8-3 on 19 minutes, thanks to Chris Greig’s unconverted try.

But Witney levelled in the 31st minute, when No 8 Deaglan Bayliss crashed over after a scrum on the Reading five-metre line.

Lamb’s attempted conversion came back off a post.

After the break, Peter Czernuszka touched down, with Sweeney adding the extras, to make it 15-8 to the visitors.

However, Witney hit back through Lamb’s unconverted try, before he kicked a penalty for a one-point lead.

Lamb went on to miss another penalty, but it did not matter as Witney defended well late on.

In-form Banbury held on for a nail-biting 20-17 win over previous leaders Maidenhead at Bodicote Park.

Cash Chilvers crashed over, with Ed Phillips converting, to make it 7-0 to the home side.

Scrum half Phillips extended their lead with a penalty, before Freddie Cracknell crossed in the corner.

Phillips added the extras to make it 17-0.

Chris Phillips was sin-binned, but Banbury maintained their lead at the break.

An Ed Phillips penalty made it 20-0, but despite also having a player yellow-carded, Maidenhead were next to score through a converted try.

The visitors were straight on the front foot and two unconverted tries hauled them to within three points.

But Banbury dug deep and retained the ball well to secure a memorable win.

Oxford Harlequins beat Reading Abbey 18-11.

Quins’s Huw Dimond and Abbey’s Theo Evered exchanged penalties.

The visitors pressed and Matt Edney’s try was disallowed, before Pete Alston’s score helped them lead 8-3.

Pete Boulton drove over after the break, with Dimond converting.

But an Evered penalty and Charlie Gingell try saw the hosts reduce the deficit to four points.

Dimond’s 75th-minute penalty made sure of victory for Quins.

Grove suffered a 43-12 defeat at Chippenham.