With bottom-of-the-table clashes and a top two meeting in National Two West, it wasn’t a slow start to October in National League Rugby. (Photo Credit: David Howlett)
Chinnor’s impressive start to the season continued in Round Six as they ran in seven tries to dispatch Rosslyn Park 48-21
Heading into October, Nick Easter’s men had won three of their five matches but this was their first away success of the term.
Full-back Will Feeney got two tries before the break, with Kieran Goss and Charlie James-Carter also crossing. Charles Piper scored for Rosslyn Park but they trailed 26-7 at half-time.
Josh McNulty and George Stokes then capitalised on two Rosslyn Park yellow cards to take the game away from their hosts.
Benji Marfo and Sunni Jardine did dot down either side of that pair of tries for Chinnor, but it was the visitors who had the final say as James-Carter completed a brilliant afternoon for the Black and Whites.
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That victory lifted Chinnor up to fourth in the standings, while Blackheath were able to climb to third as they ran riot to record a 52-12 win over Cinderford.
The top two made no mistake as league leaders Rams secured a sixth successive bonus-point win as they beat Bishop’s Stortford 26-10 while Plymouth Albion made it five in a row as a blistering first-half display helped them defeat Sale FC 36-10.
There was also a clinical edge about Darlington Mowden Park as four tries in the opening half an hour set the platform for a 34-24 win away at Richmond whereas for Taunton Titans and Leicester Lions, their wait for a victory goes on.
The Titans are still yet to open their account for the season as they fell to a 32-28 loss at Sedgley Park while Leicester Lions slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat as they were beaten 25-18 by Birmingham Moseley at Billesley Common.
Despite Taunton failing to register a win thus far, they actually moved up to 12th in the standings as they took their tally to eight bonus points for the season.
National Two North
Tynedale claimed their first win of the National Two North campaign as hooker Jacob Oliver grabbed a hat-trick in a 33-18 success against Huddersfield.
Oliver, who was recently named in England’s U20s Elite Playing Squad for the 2023/24 season, scored his trio in the opening 40 and the hosts went on to secure the bonus point before the break with Angus White and Will Nankivell chipping in with tries.
They were unable to add any further scores in the second period with the boots of Josh Leslie and Jake Rodgers guiding them to victory.
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Will Hammond, Adam Ryder and Ed Barber scored tries for Huddersfield but this defeat has seen them fall to the foot of the division.
At the other, table-toppers Leeds Tykes extended their perfect start to the term as winger Harry Jukes ran in a hat-trick in a thumping 50-29 win over Sheffield Tigers while second-placed Rotherham Titans celebrated their centenary by claiming a sixth victory on the bounce against Fylde (34-19).
Wharfedale are impressively keeping the relentless top two in their sights as they clinched a fourth win on the bounce following a 31-7 triumph over Otley while life in National Two continues to get better for Billingham as they beat Hull Ionains 24-17 to earn a third win on the spin.
Hat-tricks from Christian Hooper and Rhodri Campbell helped Sheffield see off Lymm 41-26 while late tries from Rob Willetts and Jack Lightowler saw Preston Grasshoppers come back from 30-18 down in the final few minutes to snatch a draw against Hull.
National Two East
Sevenoaks scored 36 unanswered points in the second half to clinch a welcome 43-15 victory over North Walsham in an early season basement battle.
At the start of the day, both sides occupied the bottom two places but having conceded an early Finley Davenport try, North Walsham seemed to be in control as centre Ross Magnus landed five penalties to hand the visitors the lead.
But that was as good as it got for the Vikings as Oaks flicked the switch with Charlie Corrigan, Drew Forrester, Barney Stone, Charlie Galligan and Davenport all going over without reply. Ben Adams also kicked 11 points from the tee.
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The victory for Adam Bowman’s men means they have jumped out of the bottom two at the expense of Worthing Raiders as they lost 41-17 at Guernsey Raiders, who were inspired by Ciaran McGann once again as the centre claimed a 26-point haul.
At the right end of the division, it was another solid showing from Dorking but the league leaders needed to be on their mettle to see off Canterbury 36-31 and the same could be said for Barnes (2nd) who battled past Westcombe Park 48-33.
Henley Hawks are up into the top three after snatching a dramatic 27-26 victory over Tonbridge Juddians as Ryan Crowley’s last-gasp try – converted by Max Titchener – stole it for Luke Allen’s troops.
Elsewhere, Bury St Edmunds ended Esher’s fourth-match winning streak by clinching a 22-17 success and Old Albanian ran in seven tries to defeat Wimbledon 48-29 at Woollams.
National Two West
Luctonians prevailed in the battle of the top two in National Two West as they maintained their 100 per cent start with a 33-21 win at Topsham.
Caleb Montgomery twice went over for Luctonians in the first half, but Ed Volley and Woody Pugh scored at the start and end of the opening 40 to leave things level at the break.
But the defining period in this contest came just after the interval as three tries in an 11-minute window from Ben Link, Charlie Grimes and Lewis Parkes put Lucs in command.
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Hugo Ellerby did get one back for Exeter but the damage had been done as Ryan Watkins’ men secured a sixth bonus-point win on the trot.
Luctonians now have a six-point lead at the top but the chasing pack all won at the weekend. Clifton (3rd) saw Hornets overturn a 23-point deficit only for the Lavender and Blacks to regather themselves and seal a 45-41 victory, Camborne (4th) took advantage of a Hinckley yellow card to eventually record a 38-29 triumph while James Preston’s individual haul of 18 points guided Chester (5th) to a third successive home win against Redruth (38-20).
Also across National Two West, Dings Crusaders secured back-to-back home victories as they defeated Dudley Kingswinford 43-21, Loughborough Students edged past Bournville 31-27 for a welcome win while a scintillating first-half display saw Old Redcliffians depart Newport (Salop) with a 33-5 success.
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