CHINNOR battled hard to claim a well-deserved bonus point as high-flying Cambridge inflicted a narrow 19-17 defeat at Kingsey Road.

Nick Easter’s team produced a spirited performance full of relentless work rate against a side on a five-match winning run and still hopeful of challenging for the National League 1 title.

It was an arm-wrestle of a fixture played in a strong wind and heavy rain, with the result seeing Chinnor drop one place to ninth due to an inferior points difference to Birmingham Moseley, but they are 11 points above the relegation zone with three matches remaining.

The home side led 5-0 after seven minutes, thanks to Jason Worrall’s try, however Cambridge – with the wind at their backs – went on to dominate the half territorially.

For the most part, they were frustrated by a dogged defensive effort until the 30th minute when Chinnor’s Will Blakemore was sin-binned and Ben Brownlie crossed at the back of a driving maul.

The visitors punished a Chinnor error to extend their lead to seven points with 54 minutes played as Steff James dived over.

Cambridge now seemed to have control of the match and Seb Brownhill finished off a flowing move – James adding the extras – to make it 19-5.

There was only seven minutes to go, but Chinnor refused to give in and Jack Walsh found his way over for an unconverted try to reduce the arrears.

Cambridge went in search of their four-try bonus point, but Grant Hughes picked off a pass and proceeded to run in a superb 80m interception try for the hosts.

He converted his own score with a drop kick to make it 17-19, but there was no time left on the clock for either side to add to their tally.

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In National League 2 East, Henley Hawks moved up to fifth after a 28-14 win at home to Sevenoaks.

The Hawks made it three wins in a row, scoring four tries to claim a bonus point win.

With the Regional 1 South Central season now complete, Oxford Quins were beaten 28-24 away against Jersey in a friendly.

Quins finished the season in fourth, with Banbury 10th.

Grove were thrashed 67-0 away against Newbury Blues, leaving them second from bottom in Regional 2 Tribute South Central.

Witney finished the season in fifth.

In Counties 1 Tribute Southern North, Chinnor’s 3rd XV remain top although they suffered their first defeat of the season in a 43-5 loss away to Bracknell’s 2nd XV.

Bicester stay fourth after they came out 24-20 victors at Marlow.

Wallingford finished the season in third, while Gosford All Blacks ended eighth.