Rams vs Plymouth Albion and Sale FC’s trip to Taunton headlined National One while the flurry of postponements in National Two East saw just the top two on duty as the title race heated up. (Photo Credit: Paul Clark)

National One

League leaders Rams RFC snatched a 22-20 win against third-placed Plymouth Albion in an engrossing National One contest at Old Bath Road.

Sam Daly’s try and five points from the boot of Tom Putt gave Albion a 10-7 lead at the break, with James McRae capitalising on two Plymouth yellow cards to go over for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.

Ellis Jones scored Rams’ next try on 58 minutes but Daly was quick to respond with his second for the away side.

Axel Kalling-Smith’s finish put the table-toppers ahead but Putt nudged Plymouth in front from the tee on 77 minutes.

However, it was the boot of Rams’ Fraser Honey who sealed it for the home side as his penalty one minute from time clinched the victory.

It is now three wins in a row for Seb Reynolds’ side who have a one-point lead at the summit after second-placed Chinnor recorded a fourth away success on the spin following a 40-15 triumph at Leicester Lions.

Towards the foot of the table, there were some significant results. Sale FC moved off the bottom after coming from 32-14 behind against Taunton Titans to seal an excellent eight-try 56-32 victory on the road.

Bishop’s Stortford’s recent renaissance also continued as they secured a third win from their last four games after edging past Darlington Mowden Park 13-6 in the fog at Silver Leys while the only other game to go ahead in National One saw Rosslyn Park surge to a 42-29 victory against Cinderford.

Birmingham Moseley vs Richmond and Sedgley Park vs Blackheath were both postponed.

National Two North

Just one game beat the freeze in National Two North and it was Lymm who warmed the hearts of their supporters by clinching their first win in four matches after seeing off Preston Grasshoppers 46-22.

With two away fixtures to come against Billingham and Huddersfield before the festive break, this was certainly an early Christmas present for the Crouchley Lane faithful.

A running theme this season for Adam Fletcher and Andy Davies’ side has been building leads and not finishing off the job, but there was to be no unwanted repeat in Round 12.

Tries from Ralph McEachran, Nathan Beesley and Tom Shard gave Lymm a 29-5 interval lead, with the latter also kicking nine points.

Jake Rimmer had dotted down for Preston in the opening 40 and both sides swapped tries after the break with Sam Townsley and Alastair Murray going over for Hoppers, but Stephen Pilkington’s double kept Lymm in control.

Shard’s trusty boot then steered the hosts to this welcome victory as he landed a penalty to take his individual tally to 26 for the afternoon while Jack Lightowler’s late score sealed a try bonus for the visitors, whose excellent recent form on the road came to halt in the North-West.

National Two East

The only two games to survive the wintery conditions in National Two East involved the top two sides and we begin with second-placed Esher who scored 10 tries against Worthing to seal a 62-20 win and a sixth victory on the spin.

The EEEs ran in five tries in the opening period and led 31-10 at the break with Harry Faulkner helping himself to two of the scores.

Worthing continued to stay in the contest with Dan Sargent crossing just after the interval but Esher were able to pull clear as Moses Fakatou, Charlie Crawley, Harry Chamberlain and Connor Ganley all touched down.

Dorking’s title credentials were on full display against Tonbridge Juddians as the league leaders came out on top 45-36 in a 13-try bonanza at The Slade.

The clinical Toby McRae scored a hat-trick in the first half as Armand Roux’s troops led 24-19.

A brace from Tom Nicoll and another for Tom Kendrick put TJs 36-31 in front before a lively final 10 minutes.

Will Sanders got a second for Dorking to put the visitors 38-36 ahead and a red card shown to TJs’ Dom McGeekie was punished two minutes from time as Finn Osborne sealed the deal for the table-toppers.

Maximums for both Dorking and Esher means two points is still the gap at the summit ahead of a mouthwatering contest between the pair this coming Saturday.

National Two West

Hinckley continued their purple patch of form as they fought hard for their 32-22 win over Old Redcliffians which extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

After trailing 10-0 after 20 minutes following a converted try from Will Luxford and a Jack Gapper penalty, the hosts crossed the line twice via Mitch Lamb and Sam Read.

Rory Vowles also landed a penalty before both sides exchanged scores through Dan Thurston and Read.

After two tries in Round 11, Finn Murphy crossed the whitewash again for Old Reds to square things up but another penalty from Vowles and a Sam Pointon converted score saw Hinckley home.

Table-toppers Luctonians also continued their momentum with a 30-17 win away at Hornets while National Two West’s in-form side Dings Crusaders ran in 11 tries to thrash Newport (Salop) 77-12.

Elsewhere, Will Owen scored twice as Clifton (3rd) beat Loughborough Students 48-26,  Camborne (4th) reacted immediately to last week’s loss at the aforementioned Loughborough by defeating Exeter University 33-18 and Chester arrested a run of four consecutive losses thanks to an 18-8 success over Bournville.

Dudley Kingswinford’s meeting with Redruth was postponed.

Make sure you follow National League Rugby on social media across the course of the season!

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | TikTok | Threads