BANBURY paid the price for a shocking first-half display as they went down 46-35 to Salisbury in South West 1 East.

The hosts raced into a 31-0 lead after a dire opening.

Banbury cut the deficit before half-time with tries from Ed Phillips and Jed Boyle.

And their comeback continued after the restart when Ian Isham made it 31-15, only for the home side to score two more tries of their own, one of which was converted.

At 43-15 down the game seemed over, but Banbury staged a superb fightback.

Although Salisbury added a penalty, tries from Ed Berridge, Jack Briggs, Justin Parker and Phillips saw the 14 men of Banbury – who had Sam Stoop yellow-carded – make it 46-35.

But they could not find a further score with their opening period proved critical.

Oxford Harlequins conceded two late tries in a 47-33 home loss against Chippenham.

Two Tony Turetta penalties were all the hosts had to show for their opening half-hour, the visitors scoring three tries to lead 19-6.

However, Quins fought back to level 19-19 at half-time before going 26-19 ahead early in the second period after tries from Andy Moore and Alfred Kynge, both converted by Turetta who added two further penalties.

Chippenham then scored twice to lead 33-26, only for Jack Crowe’s try and Turetta’s kick levelling the scores with nine minutes remaining.

But it was the visitors who won it when Mike Dane and Dave Smith touched down in the 75th and 78th minutes to seal victory.

Witney gave leaders Newbury Blues a scare, but ultimately fell to a heavy defeat.

The relegation-threatened side led 13-10 at half-time, but the table-toppers – helped by the strong wind – roared back after the break to run out 62-13 winners.

The hosts went ahead with a third-minute try.

But Witney replied through prop Jamie Burke, converted by Arron Lambourne.

Two penalties by the Witney kicker saw his side move 13-5 ahead.

However, Newbury reduced the deficit with a try before the break and then touched down a further eight times in the second half, six of which were converted.