Leicester Lions and Taunton Titans ripped up the form book in National One as did Worthing Raiders and Bournville in National Two, while only three teams now have maximum points to their name. (Photo Credit: Peter Redmond)

National One

Leicester Lions arrested a run of five straight losses and ended Rams RFC’s perfect start to the season by clinching a stunning 26-24 win in the Midlands.

Gareth Collins’ side condemned the league leaders to their first defeat of the campaign after Rams had entered the weekend on the back of six successive bonus-point victories.

The result also lifted the Lions off the bottom of the standings.

Tries from Aston Gradwick-Light, Geordie Irvine and Nick Cairns saw the hosts storm into a 21-7 lead after Ben Atkins had opened the scoring for Rams.

The table-toppers hit back just before the break via Zach Clow, and tries from Jak Rossiter and Max Hayman put the visitors three points ahead.

But just like in their victory over Sale FC on the opening day, Leicester Lions produced a late twist as fly-half Dan Lewis crossed the whitewash two minutes from time to clinch a precious win for his side.

The victory for the Lions means the aforementioned Sale FC have dropped to the foot of the standings as they fell to their sixth defeat of the term after being edged out by Richmond 24-15 at Heywood Road, but there were better fortunes for fellow bottom three side Taunton Titans.

The Somerset outfit were able to secure their first win of the season in Round Seven as a powerful first-half showing set the platform for a 40-17 success against Rosslyn Park.

Towards the summit of the division, Chinnor are now Rams RFC’s nearest challengers as winger Joe Browning helped himself to four of their nine tries in a superb 53-8 victory over Blackheath whereas Plymouth Albion’s recent good form was halted by Cinderford who clinched a 20-12 victory at the Beavis Memorial Ground.

Elsewhere, Sedgley Park are up to fourth after an excellent 45-33 away triumph over Bishop’s Stortford and fly-half Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley collected 18 points – which included slotting a match-winning penalty – to snatch a 28-27 victory for Birmingham Moseley at Darlington Mowden Park.

National Two North

Otley secured their second win of the season as a 45-34 bonus-point victory against Lymm means the Yorkshire outfit head into the break in better spirits.

The hosts had the extra point wrapped up inside 18 minutes as a rip-roaring start saw Sam Waddington, Sam Taylor, Clark Wells and Ed Crossland all go over to establish a 26-3 lead.

Scrum-half Callum Morris hit back for Lymm before Ben Dinsdale got Otley’s fifth but the visitors came out fighting in the second half as three tries in a 10-minute window from Stephen Pilkington, Joe Higgins and Harry Martin edged them in front.

But Otley surged back in the final quarter as Gavin Stead and Wells sealed the win at Cross Green.

That defeat for Lymm means they have joined Huddersfield in the bottom two, with the latter slipping to a fifth straight loss against Sheffield Tigers (44-25) whereas Tynedale were able to distance themselves further from danger after a brilliant 34-28 victory away at Fylde.

At the top, the relentless Leeds Tykes were rampant again as four tries from winger Harry Jukes helped his side to a 53-21 triumph over Preston Grasshoppers as the league leaders made it seven successive bonus-point victories while Rotherham Titans also maintained their winning streak after shrugging off Sheffield 37-17 at Abbeydale Park.

Wharfedale remain third in the standings despite seeing their four-match winning run halted by Hull Ionains as a 36-23 success saw Graham Steadman’s troops secure their first victory since Round Two while a hat-trick from Peter Hudson-Kowalewicz helped Hull to a 40-24 victory against Billingham.

National Two East

Worthing Raiders claimed a morale-boosting victory by beating Old Albanian 46-36  in Round Seven.

A first-half hat-trick from the returning Curtis Barnes – along with scores from Jack Doorey-Palmer, Peter Drummond and Tom Bowen – gave the Raiders a dominant 36-10 lead, with OA’s Alessandro Ricci and Oluwaseyi Ajeigbe scoring either side of Worthing’s blitz.

Both teams then swapped scores as efforts from Charlie Fleckney and former Worthing man Kemp Price were responded to by Ben Featherstone and Doorey-Palmer before Seb Mummery dotted down for OA’s fifth late on.

However, it was too little too late as Worthing had done enough to clinch their first win since the opening day.

The Raiders have jumped out of the bottom two at the expense of Sevenoaks who played out a dramatic 26-26 draw against Tonbridge Juddians. A late Barney Stone try for Oaks gave them the opportunity to snatch victory in this Kent derby but they were off target with their conversion meaning the points were shared.

North Walsham remain rooted to the foot of the table and despite signs of promise, they were eventually dispatched by Westcombe Park 59-7 with lock Rafael Lofinmakin-Dutta grabbing a hat-trick.

A trifecta of tries was also the order of the day for league leaders Dorking as Craig Holland and Toby McRae both helped themselves to a trio of scores in their 59-14 win over Guernsey Raiders.

That was Dorking’s seventh straight maximum but Barnes (2nd) remain in hot pursuit after seeing off Canterbury 39-22 despite receiving three yellow cards in the second half.

And finally in the battle between third vs fourth, it was Esher who came out on top as they ran in seven tries to halt Henley Hawks’ recent good form.

National Two West

Exeter University’s strong start to the campaign was dented in Round Seven as Bournville produced an excellent performance to claim a 34-31 victory at Avery Fields.

After flying out of the blocks to begin this season, back-to-back defeats have just stunted Exeter’s progress while this victory for the Chocos was certainly a welcome one.

Owen Williams scored a brace to get Bournville up and running but Exeter hit back via Elliot Young, Tirion Bowen and Toby Ferguson to nudge their noses in front.

Jacob Fewtrell landed a penalty for the Midlands club early in the second half but Thomas Tribe’s score kept Exeter in the ascendency.

However, Matt Price’s men dug deep and a try from Jonjo Fanning and an incept via Sam Grimshaw proved to be decisive despite Archie Rolls setting up a tense finale with Exeter’s fifth score of the afternoon.

That loss for Exeter means Clifton were able to move themselves up to second spot thanks to an eye-catching 49-14 win away at Hinckley while Luctonians now have an eight-point gap at the summit as a Charlie Grimes hat-trick helped them to a 39-5 victory over Newport (Salop) and in turn, a seventh consecutive bonus-point triumph on the spin.

Both Camborne and Chester continued their purple patches in Round Seven with the Cornish outfit surging to a 31-14 win against Dudley Kingswinford while Chester made it five victories from their last six games following an impressive 48-21 success away at Hornets.

Elsewhere, there was a dramatic finish to the latest Bristol derby. Old Redcliffians missed a late chance to win the game from the tee only for Dings Crusaders’ Oliver Millner to land his penalty attempt to snatch a 32-29 victory while Redruth sealed back-to-back successes after seeing off Loughborough Students 40-31.

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