Two tries from lock David Hyde helped Witney edge out Buckingham 31-29 at Hailey Road in South West 1 East on Saturday.

Victory kept alive Witney’s hopes of finishing fourth, while Buckingham’s two bonus points meant they escaped relegation.

Playing with the wind, Withney went ahead on ten minutes when fly half Phil Thomas kicked a penalty after Buckingham gave away a penalty.

However, the visitors levelled on 20 minutes with a penalty of their own through Andy White.

Four minutes later, Thomas restored Witney’s lead with his second penalty.

Witney scored their first try five minutes before the interval following good work from centre James Lamb.

The ball was worked to wing James Monks who crashed over for 11-3.

Only a desperate tap tackle from flanker Carl Campbell prevented Buckingham from scoring a try of their own.

But they weren’t to be denied, with James Hulston going over for a try, converted by White to cut the hosts’ lead to a point.

Witney came out fired up after the interval with a Thomas penalty stretching their advantage.

Hyde bagged the first of his brace when he combined with Monks before crashing under the posts, with Thomas slotting the extras for 21-10.

Witney were running Buckingham ragged and Hyde completed his double when he stepped through a number of tackles after some good work from the scrum to make it 26-10.

Buckingham had a man sin-binned, while Witney lock Charlie Bennett wasted a great chance.

And they paid the price on 65 minutes when Matt Payne to plunged over, White converting.

Replacement Carl Strutt’s try looked to have sealed it for Witney after he collected a slick back-handed flick pass from No 8 Joe Rowles.

But Buckingham had other ideas and Callum Gilly cut the deficit further on 77 minutes with a try following a swift break, Thomas conversion.

And the hosts were rattling when James Bernard scored the visitors’ fourth try in the final minute.

That gave White the chance to level. However, his conversion came back off a post as Witney held on for victory.

Chipping Norton’s BB&O Premier Division campaign ended on a low note as they went down to a 36-0 defeat at Phoenix.