RUGBY UNION: Quins bag title on date to remember

Oxford Harlequins crack open the champagne to celebrate winning the South West 1 East title

Oxford Harlequins crack open the champagne to celebrate winning the South West 1 East title

First published in Rugby

SOUTH WEST 1 EAST

HISTORY repeated itself as Oxford Harlequins were crowned champions after a 52-8 home hammering of Maidenhead.

Quins, who have bounced back to National 3 South West at the first attempt, defeated Maidenhead to seal the same title on March 29, 2003 – exactly 11 years previously.

Front-row forward Simon Chadbone was part of the Quins team on both occasions, while coaches Jamie Cope and Steve Chadbone were players first time around.

Quins needed a bonus point to guarantee the title – and had that wrapped up by half-time.

Prop Pete Boulton opened the scoring for the hosts with a first-minute try, converted by full back Will Hilton.

Maidenhead replied with a penalty from fly half Mike Virgo.

Lock Allan Purchase and No 8 Seisoni Tupou scored tries two and three with powerful finishes, Hilton converting Tupou’s and one from centre Mike Lee to make it 26-3.

With the wind behind them after the break, Quins kept up the pressure.

Fly half Zac Norris set up Lee’s second try, which Hilton converted, but Quins’ progress was held up by yellow cards for centre Keni Fisilau and Tupou.

Maidenhead bagged a breakaway try from wing Simon Cripps on 60 minutes.

However, Quins were not finished and a lenth-of-the-field move saw Norris touch down for Hilton to convert.

Maidenhead had No 8 Alex Gallina sin-binned before Quins wing Adam Walsh scythed through for Hilton to convert.

They sealed it with an eighth try, finished by Tupou, to cue the champagne celebrations.

Flanker Dave Wells scored a hat-trick of tries as Grove battled back to edge a thriller 39-36 at Reading.

Reading led 19-5 and 31-17, with their tries coming from from Ashley Chapman (2), Jordan Gomez, Tim Macnaughton and Peter Czernuszka. Andrew Tweedie kicked four conversions and a penalty.

But Grove roared back in the second half, with Wells completing his treble, plus centre Tom Clipsham, scrum half Joe Chivers, prop Cash Chivers and wing Guy Nicholl taking the try tally to seven.

Nicholl converted one, as did centre Henry Day.

Witney earned a four-try bonus point in their 31-22 home defeat to Windsor.

The hosts never led, but gained some consolation from wing Chris Beasley’s last-minute try.

Centre Matt Clarke, wing Arron Lambourne and a penalty try made up Witney’s tally, with fly half Henry Lamb converting one.

Witney also had flanker Carl Campbell sin-binned.

Windsor’s tally included a try brace from Paul Nunn, but they are almost certain to miss out on the play-offs.

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