CHINNOR were unable to stop local rivals Rams from extending their lead at the top of National League 1 as they suffered a 50-31 defeat in Berkshire.

It was an uncomfortable opening 40 minutes for the Thame side, but there was still a faint glimmer of hope when the hosts’ lead was reduced to 15 points with 35 minutes to go.

Two further Rams tries put them out of sight, but Chinnor refused to give in, finishing the evening with five tries and a bonus point.

Nick Easter’s side will now be eyeing a crucial home victory over struggling Taunton Titans on Saturday as they look to put further daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Against Rams, Chinnor started well with Nick Smith converting Willie Ryan’s try after five minutes.

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But for the next 25 minutes – which included a sin-bin for Ryan – Rams were camped in the opposition half, opening up a 24-7 lead thanks to tries from Ellis Jones, Axel Kalling-Smith, Ollie Cole and Zach Clow.

Chinnor replied when Charley Robinson was driven over at a lineout, but James Baker and Clow crossed before half-time as Rams led 36-14.

Ryan’s try early in the second half gave the visitors a glimmer of hope of pulling off a remarkable comeback, but Rams were just too good and scores from Cole and Max Hayman put the match out of sight.

Chinnor refused to give in and Josh Hodson dived over for their four-try bonus point, before Robinson scored his second late on, but the result had already been confirmed.

In National League 2 East, Henley Hawks moved up to sixth after a 32-8 win at home against Old Albanian.

Oxford Quins remain fifth in Regional 1 South Central after a 17-17 draw at Bracknell, while moved up to 10th with a 28-19 victory at home to Royal Wootton Bassett.

A 33-12 defeat at Newbury Blues saw Witney drop to fourth in Regional 2 Tribute South Central.

Grove are second from bottom after a 63-7 loss at Salisbury.

Chinnor’s 3rd XV continued their 100 per cent start to the season in Counties 1 Tribute Southern North with a 78-12 victory at home to High Wycombe.

Bicester remain third despite a 29-17 defeat away against Reading Abbey.

Wallingford were awarded an away walk over at Gosford All Blacks.