BANBURY Bulls overcame the twin threats of Oxford Harlequins and Storm Dennis to beat their Oxfordshire rivals 12-11.

Heavy rain and gusts of more than 50mph made for horrendous conditions in the South West 1 East clash, with the wind holding up Dan Todd’s crucial conversion that would have put the hosts 13-12 ahead.

An injury crisis forced Banbury into eight changes, with several graduates from the club’s youth section included in an inexperienced line-up.

The away side quickly found themselves a man down when Tom Eyston was yellow-carded for a tip tackle.

They were soon behind on the scoreboard, too, Todd slotting over a 16th-minute penalty for Quins.

The fly half used the wind to his advantage five minutes later, kicking another penalty from close to the halfway line.

Kieran Fitzgibbon soon became the next player in the sin bin for a frustrated Banbury following an

off-the-ball incident.

The turnaround began shortly after the half-hour mark, when Tommy Gray released Joe Mills from deep.

He was held up at the Quins 22, but Caleb Shepherd cleared out two defenders, paving the way for Tom Burman to sprint over in the corner.

Ed Phillips almost made a seemingly impossible conversion, but the wind took the ball wide.

The hosts went in 6-5 up at the break and were still in front on the hour mark, despite some heavy Banbury pressure.

Gray’s pass sent Jack Briggs through, before Dan Brady tip-toed his way down the left wing to cross.

Phillips judged the elements perfectly to convert and give Banbury a 12-6 lead.

Quins looked to hit back immediately and exerted five minutes of heavy pressure on the visitors, Rhys Painton eventually driving over from a metre out.

Todd’s conversion looked destined to sail between the posts, but it was held up by the wind before dropping agonisingly short.