IN-FORM Oxford Harlequins moved out of the relegation zone with a battling 29-17 victory over Royal Wootton Bassett at Marston Ferry Road.

It was the home side’s sixth win in seven South West 1 East games, lifting them three points above the danger area.

A second-half fightback saw the visitors close to within seven points, but scrum half Guy Fairburn went over late on to secure what could be a crucial bonus-point victory.

Quins led 14-0 after a quarter-of-an-hour.

First, flanker Charlie Ward pounced on an overthrown Bassett line-out and Ollie Jenner combined with fellow centre Jack Robinson for the latter to race over.

Quins turned over possession again five minutes later and Jenner was instrumental once more.

His delicate kick was collected by fly half Watkinson, who set up hooker George Tierney to outpace the cover.

The visitors responded on 18 minutes when scrum half Tom Fieldsend kicked a penalty, but Quins went on to dominate.

Captain Allan Purchase forced his way over, before Watkinson, who converted all three tries, slotted over a penalty to make it 24-3.

The second half proved a nervy affair for the hosts, though, who lacked the control they exerted in the first period.

Quins rarely had 15 players on the pitch as Fairburn, Purchase and Ward were sent to the sin-bin.

Prop Jesse Outlaw drove over twice for Bassett to make it 24-17 with ten minutes to go.

But Quins responded well and, following a scrum on the visitors’ five-metre line, Fairburn dived over for an unconverted try to make sure of victory.

Rhys Morgan’s late try earned Witney a thrilling 20-19 victory at local rivals Grove.

The south Oxfordshire side had led 19-12 with 30 minutes to go, before the visitors stormed back to avenge their defeat earlier in the season.

Grove took the lead when Ben Nichol picked up from a five-metre scrum and drove over.

Dave Maryon added the extras.

It was soon 12-0 as Sam Telling took advantage of Witney’s stretched defence to cross for an unconverted try.

The visitors hit back and captain Gareth Campbell shot through a gap to dive over on 28 minutes.

Grove were up against it, but did not concede again before the break, despite having Steve Dixey in the sin-bin.

Witney levelled almost immediately after the restart as a wide miss-pass went loose and Henry Lamb was quick to harass and pounce to touch down. He also added the conversion to make it 12-12.

Grove were soon back in front as Mike Martin dived over. Maryon converted for a seven-point lead.

The hosts had their tails up, but a Lamb penalty closed the gap on 57 minutes.

Witney pushed for another score and on 80 minutes the ball was worked to Morgan, who ran around the defence to score a classy unconverted try.

Nine minutes of extra-time ensued with Grove keeping possession from numerous rucks, but Witney claimed victory when the hosts knocked on.