CAPTAIN Ian Isham scored four tries as Banbury beat Stratford-upon-Avon 42-14 to remain in the promotion race.

With Old Centralians, who occupy the sole play-off spot, losing to leaders Newbury Blues, the win saw Bulls close to within four points of second in South West 1 East.

Banbury took a 17-point lead, thanks to tries from Isham (2) and Callum Horne, Ed Phillips converting once.

Stratford cut the gap to ten points at the break as Charlie Powell dived over, Gwil Davis adding the extras.

Isham went over again at the start of the second half for Banbury to make it 22-7, before the visitors replied through Mark Hibberd, Davis converting.

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  • Skipper Ian Isham dives over for one of his four tries against Stratford-upon-Avon Picture: Simon Grieve

Bulls then made sure of victory when Isham, Duncan Leese and Steve Potter crossed, Ed Phillips, who also slotted a penalty, converting once.

Witney kept their faint hopes of avoiding the drop alive with a 29-12 victory at home to fellow strugglers Trowbridge.

The west Oxfordshire side have cut the gap to their Wiltshire rivals to ten points.

Witney had to wait until the 37th minute for their first try, captain Matt Clarke crossing.

Having only led 5-0 at the break, the hosts opened up a 29-point advantage after 28 minutes of the second half, thanks to scores from debutant Joe Strong (2) and Callum Godfrey (2), Ted Landray converting twice.

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  • Debutant Joe Strong completes his brace of tries during Witney's victory over Trowbridge Picture: Ric Mellis

Trowbridge’s Connor James had been sent off during Witney’s period of dominance, but the visitors set up a nervy finish.

Dave Morrison and Austin Reed crossed to cut the deficit, but the hosts had already done enough.

Oxford Harlequins lost 27-13 at Marlborough.

Toni Turetta kicked two penalties for the visitors, but the hosts led 14-6 at the break, thanks to tries from Lemeki Moala and Harry Jackson, who converted both.

A Jackson penalty extended Marlborough’s lead, however Quins hit back when Keiran DeLange went over, Turetta adding the extras.

But the hosts made sure of the points late on as Pio Tuwai crossed, Jackson converting.


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