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Title sealed by Stow with three ties to go
2:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
STOW-on-the-Wold have won the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier Division title with three games left.
The unbeaten leaders defeated Hungerford 48-0 at home in testing conditions after starting well and driving long distances to tire their opponents’ pack.
Stow’s first try came from Edd Fanshawe and was converted by James Ford before, with the hosts’ pack in control, Tim Peachey scored out wide to make it 12-0.
From a line-out followed by a 40-yard driving maul, the ball was released to the backs who obliged with a converted try from James Holmes.
With ground conditions worsening, Stow still put together good passages of play and Lewis Chapman added the bonus-point try with Ford kicking the extras to make it 24-0 at half-time.
The second period was dominated by Stow’s pack with Richard Huggett and Chris Powlesland stealing line-out ball.
Hugo Griffiths added a further try and Ford the conversion, while Hungerford’s attempt to run the slippy ball only led to Holmes racing clear and diving over again.
Griffiths danced through under the posts for Ford to convert and a series of drives saw captain Peachey slip over in the corner for the final unconverted try.
Stow, who are 17 points ahead of second-placed Swindon College Old Boys, look to protect their 100 per cent record in the final three fixtures, starting at Aylesbury Athletic on Saturday (2.30pm).
Third-placed Cotswold rivals Chipping Norton lost 42-20 at Bicester and they host Phoenix on Saturday (2.30pm).
- Before the Stow match, the finals of the under 16s schools’ floodlit cup and plate competitions covering Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire were played in driving rain, sleet and hail.
The plate final between Chipping Campden and Sibford was even with attacking rugby and fierce tackles.
Campden scored a wellworked try and penalty to lead 10-0 at half-time before defending well to win 10-7 after Sibford hit back with a converted effort.
The cup final between Cotswold and Chipping Norton was played with equal ferocity and the latter school defended their line for long periods.
In the second-half, Chipping Norton played with more control and battered the Cotswold line to score the only try in a 5-0 success.