5:30pm Thursday 14th February 2013
STOW-on-the-Wold Rugby Club showed no let-up in their Berks/Bucks and Oxon Premier Division title chase with a 72-7 thrashing of Phoenix.
The Oddington Road side remained unbeaten in the league as James Holmes scored a stunning six tries although it took 20 minutes for them to get into their stride.
Resolute defending and missed opportunities meant there was no score for Stow until Nick Cafearo kicked a penalty.
But then the floodgates opened as Mat Green broke from a scrum and released Holmes for his first try which Cafearo converted.
He doubled his try account when chasing up a kick through and Cafearo again converted.
Holmes then turned provider as he broke on the blind side and offloaded for Andrew Piercey to score out wide. Cafearo slotted the awkward conversion.
Hugo Griffiths quickly collected the ball and gained ground before passing for Cafearo to break several tackles and score under the posts, leaving a simple conversion.
The last try of the half came from forward pressure with Craig Chapman touching down and Cafearo again on target to leave Stow 38-0 up at half-time.
The hosts continued their pressure in the second period with Phoenix tiring from constantly being on the back foot.
A maul on the left saw captain Tim Peachey appear with the ball and score but Cafearo was off target with the extras.
Phoenix then tried to clear but good hands from the backs resulted in Cafearo scoring another unconverted effort in the corner.
From the restart, Cafearo ran the ball back and offloaded to Holmes, who had a clear run in under the posts and the conversion was added.
Phoenix briefly rallied and, from a five-metre scrum, pulled back a converted effort.
But this was short-lived as three further tries were scored by Holmes, with one converted, to complete his double hat-trick.
Chipping Norton are 13 points behind with a game in hand after beating Gosford All Blacks 34-6.
© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group