SOUTH WEST 1 EAST
OXFORD Harlequins boosted their title hopes with a 13-7 home victory over promotion rivals Towcestrians.
Quins held firm in the galeforce wind and rain, and although the visitors had the better of the second half, their converted try came from the final play.
Fly half Zac Norris kicked Quins ahead with a fifth-minute penalty.
Towcestrians flanker Liam Wilkinson was yellow-carded on 23 minutes, but the hosts struggled to take advantage.
The cards continued with yellows for visiting No 8 Callum Threfall and home hooker Ben Selby, while Norris’s second penalty made it 6-0 at the break.
Flankers Seisoni Tupou and Richard Battson led Quins’ defence in the second half.
Centre Keni Fisilau dived over for a try on 50 minutes, which Norris converted.
Tupou was sin-binned on 77 minutes, while Towcestrians had the final say when replacement Adam Wilkinson drove over, with full back Matt Yuill converting.
Tim Muller’s late try saw Witney edge to a 30-28 victory at basement boys Salisbury.
Fly half Phil Thomas’s penalty gave Witney the lead, but Salisbury hit back with lock Dave Thomson going over for a converted try.
Muller’s first score made it 8-7 before Salisbury slotted a penalty.
The lead continued to change hands after the break, with wing Phil Carr and No 8 Josh Green bagging tries for Salisbury, who added two penalties and a conversion.
However, centres Matt Clarke and Ted Landray, hooker Adam Copperwheat and Muller went over for Witney, with Thomas converting one.
Scrum half Joe Chivers was sent off as Grove lost 21-17 in atrocious conditions at home to Devizes.
Chivers was dismissed for a second yellow card with Grove leading 17-16 before a late Devizes try capped a miserable day.
Rory Brown kicked Devizes, who had the wind behind them, ahead with a penalty, but Chivers replied with a Grove try.
James Last went over for Devizes before Brown added a penalty, but Guy Nicholl’s try reduced the arrears.
Visiting No 8 James Gaiger drove over for a 16-10 half-time lead.
Grove pressure led to yellow cards for Devizes’ Craig Bryant and Damon Murphy before home full back Huw Lewis scored a try, converted by fly half Roger Sevier.
Chivers’s red card changed the game and Luke Rapson bagged the winning try.