Stephen Bentley and Kev Brooks scored two touchdowns apiece as Oxford Saints began the season with a convincing 34-6 win at Sandwell Steelers in the BAFA National Central Conference.

James Ferrigno also scored as the visitors ran in five touchdowns to make the perfect start to the new campaign.

The Steelers were playing their first competitive match and were quickly under pressure.

They held out until late in the first quarter, when an impressive Saints drive saw them open the scoring.

Ferrigno was heavily involved, before running back Bentley thundered into the endzone to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.

Sandwell responded well and claimed a score of their own when Leon Williamson burst through down the middle.

But the Saints restored their control before half-time, when Bentley broke through again to give them a 13-6 advantage at the break.

The Oxford Times:

Oxford Saints' Rees Gidley stops a Sandwell Steelers opponent in his tracks

With minimal passing on both sides, the running backs continued to be the key men.

The third quarter was hard-fought, but as the game progressed a tiring Sandwell began to lose their discipline.

The Saints took advantage and increased their lead when Brooks claimed his first career touchdown to make it 20-7.

It was extended by two more scores in the fourth quarter.

Ferrigno made the game safe, before Brooks crossed for his second touchdown to complete the scoring.

It took the Saints top of the fledgling table and next up they face the only other team with a win to their name, Lincolnshire Bombers.

They meet in Lincoln on Sunday.