CRAIG Burrows hopes his Grove back line continue to fire ahead of their derby at in-form Witney tomorrow.

The south Oxfordshire side have taken nine points from four South West 1 East games since the turn of the year, helping them climb out of the relegation zone.

A key ingredient to their upturn in form has been the number of tries scored by their backs, with winger Benny Davies and centre Conor Hull both crossing three times in January.

Burrows said: “The difference has been the firepower behind the pack and players playing well.

“They knew they had to step up if we were going to have any chance of retaining our status.”

Grove make two changes to the starting XV, with Luke Matthews switching to scrum half and Jamie Burns starting at centre.

Witney are targeting a fifth win in a row.

The club’s top try-scorer Rhys Morgan and full back Arron Lambourne, who have scored 96 points between them this season, return.

But captain Gareth Campbell is unavailable.

Oxford Harlequins travel to Wimborne, searching for a fourth-straight victory.

Matt White, Ryan Jones and Jack Wiggins come into the side.

Promotion-chasing Banbury host Old Patesians in a top-of-the table clash.

Basement boys Bicester look to end an 11-match losing run when they take on Old Centralians.

Henley Hawks welcome back last campaign’s player of the season Tom Hall to the bench after a long-term injury for their trip to Barnstaple in National League 2 South.

Tom Emery, Brad Cook and Liam O’Neill are handed starts.

Second-placed Chinnor travel to Tonbridge Juddians.


Henley Hawks (v Barnstaple, away): O’Neill, Andre, Perry, Hayhow, Portland, Butler, Jackson, Ball, Emery, Cook, Clements, Albon, Hyde, Haynes, Owen. Reps: Primett, Wunder, White, Hall, Robinson.

Witney (v Grove, home): Lambourne, Morgan, Clarke, Boshell, Gaffney, Puddle, Birks, Burke, Harris, Richens, Webb, Mortimer, Anderson, C Campbell, Bayliss. Reps: Lamb, Wakeman, Allen.

Grove (v Witney, away): Monks, Turner, Hull, Burns, Davies, Johnson, Matthews, McCarthy, Dixey, Hook, Tyler, Miles, Tyreman, Horrocks, Bellinger. Reps: Roberts, Wiltshire, Tokelove.

Oxford Harlequins (v Wimborne, away): Craig, Crowe, Stacey, Dimond, Yeates, Wiggins, O’Brian, Marshall, Davies, Farahani, Purchase, White, Jones, Ward, Rees. Reps: from Hazelhurst, Connelly, P De Lange.

l OXFORD University fell to a double defeat at Iffley Road on Wednesday.

The women’s side were beaten 83-5 by Hartpury College.

And there was no joy for the men either, who lost 26-15 to the Army.

Ollie Adams, Hugo McPherson and Henry Martin crossed for the Dark Blues.