BANBURY pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Chippenham 26-22 at the DCS Stadium.

Trailing 22-12 and with two players in the sin-bin after 70 minutes, late tries from Ed Phillips and Sam Stoop saw the hosts snatch victory.

The result helped Banbury move above Chippenham to second spot in South West 1 East.

Bulls made the perfect start when Josh Deegan touched down.

It was soon 12-0 as Chris Phillips dived over and Ed Phillips converted.

Chippenham responded when Aaron Clarke crossed and Dan Wainwright added the extras.

Andy Rossiter was sin-binned for the visitors, who levelled before half-time as Jacob Unwin dived over.

A Wainwright penalty put Chippenham 15-12 in front after the break, before they scored again.

Unwin sprinted over out wide and Wainwright converted to make it 22-12 on 70 minutes.

It got even worse for Banbury when Matthew Powell and Matt Brock were sin-binned.

Ed Phillips missed a penalty, but the hosts dug deep and the scrum half dived over from close range, before converting from out wide.

Bulls had the momentum and Chippenham’s Brad Doggett was sin-binned.

The hosts then dramatically secured victory when Stoop darted over and Phillips added the extras.

Herald Series:

  • Fly half Sam Stoop touches down to score the winning try in Banbury's thrilling 26-22 victory over Chippenham Picture: Simon Grieve

Witney kick-started 2018 with a 24-13 victory at home to Oxfordshire rivals Bicester.

The visitors started well, with Charlie Bethell crossing, before Dan Spencer’s penalty made it 8-0.

Witney responded when Matt Webb went over for an unconverted score.

Bicester stretched their lead to 13-5 after half-time, thanks to another Bethell try.

But Witney began to apply pressure and Rhys Morgan went over for the fifth time this season on 58 minutes.

The hosts soon led 17-13 as Arron Lambourne jinked his way over, Phil Thomas converting.

And Deaglan Bayliss crossed late on, Thomas converting, to secure the bonus-point win.

Herald Series:

  • Winger Rhys Morgan crosses for the fifth time this season to help Witney beat Bicester 24-13 Picture: Ric Mellis
  • Video courtesy of Witney RFC

Grove were denied victory in the dying seconds as they lost 32-28 at Wimborne.

Luke Matthews’s try gave the visitors a fifth-minute lead, before the hosts replied with two tries, one converted.

Dave Maryon kicked a penalty for Grove, but another try saw Wimborne lead 17-8 at the break.

But the visitors hit back to lead 18-17, thanks to Connor Hull’s try, which was converted by Maryon, who also slotted another penalty.

Wimborne replied with a try, but Hull crossed again to make it 23-22 with ten minutes to go.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued as the hosts went over to retake the lead, before Matthews’s try made it 28-27 to Grove with 90 seconds remaining.

But the visitors lost a lineout and Wimborne crossed in the corner.

Oxford Harlequins went down 26-6 at Royal Wootton Bassett.

Two Sam Watkinson penalties, either side of a Thomas Fieldsen kick, saw the visitors take a 6-3 lead.

Fieldsen responded with another penalty to make it 6-6 at the break.

The hosts took the lead on 49 minutes, thanks to a Robert Cooper penalty, and Chris Patterson drove over, Fieldsen converting to make it 16-6.

Fieldsen landed another penalty, before Elye Darragh went over in the last move of the game. Fieldsen converted to inflict a first defeat in four games on Quins.