8:00pm Wednesday 5th March 2014
By John Boyman
Tadley Tigers wrapped up the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier title in style, winning 92-3 at Slough Phoenix to wrap up the division with four games to spare.
The Red Lane side went into the game knowing that a bonus-point victory would seal a return to Southern Counties North at the first attempt.
They made short work of struggling Slough Phoenix, running in 14 tries to tie up the title, crossing the line for the first time after just two minutes, centre Gareth Cripps-Jones touching down.
He went on to score four tries, with Mark Davies and Chris Dennison both scoring twice.
Luke Titley, Warwick Brown, Pete Rosier, Luke Flynn and Ben Anderson were the other scorers, with Craig Raymond kicking 11 conversions.
The remainder of the season looks set to be little more than a victory lap, beginning on Saturday, when the Tigers host mid-table Slough at Red Lane.
Overton RFC are now 10 points adrift at the bottom of the Hampshire One table after suffering a 44-15 defeat at home to Southampton, the team immediately above them in the standings.
Relegation now looks all but certain for the Laverstoke Park club, who are 15 points below the safety line ahead of a trip to seventh-placed Bognor on Saturday.
Chineham RFC’s trip to Nomads in Hampshire Two fell foul of the wet weather at the weekend.
The May’s Bounty-based side sit fifth in the table but could move up to fourth if they are able to win away on the Isle of Wight at Ventnor, who are just above them, on Saturday.
Aldermaston RFC are up to fourth in the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Championship standings after an impressive 31-7 victory over Harwell.
The fixture was switched to Aldermaston’s ground due to problems with Harwell’s pitch – but, when that was deemed unfit for play, the game had to be moved to Tadley’s second-team pitch.
Cody Eibig put Aldermaston in front with a try converted by Dean Smith and, while Harwell levelled soon after, Eibig’s second and a score for Cary Jackson had the home side 19-7 ahead at the break.
Eibig completed his hat-trick in the second half, with Jonny Newman rounding off the scoring late on.
Kingsclere RFC remain bottom after losing 61-18 at home to table-topping Abingdon. The two north Hampshire sides are due to clash at Aldermaston on Saturday.
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