Phoenix RFC show title form as they avenge Farnham Royal RFC defeat

Phoenix RFC show title form as they avenge Farnham Royal RFC defeat

Graeme Copas

Phoenix RFC show title form as they avenge Farnham Royal RFC defeat

Phoenix 28, Farnham Royal 7

Phoenix produced a strong second half performance to beat rivals Farnham Royal and avenge their only defeat of the campaign at Farnham Park in October.

BB&O Championship leaders Phoenix start- ed nervously, spilling the ball on numerous occasions, although they did eventually take the lead through a well struck penalty by Nigel Coltman.

Phoenix were still not able to settle and it was Royal centre Wayne Garstang who was next on the scoresheet with a pacy run which made the most of some missed tackles.

However, Phoenix again took the game to Farnham and quick ball out to the backline saw Jason Townsend, with some clever link play from hooker Robin Gill, score to put the hosts 8-7 ahead at the break.

Phoenix dominated the second period and soon extended their advantage when, with an outrageous dummy, Bradley Coomber touched down allowing Townsend to convert for 15-7.

Soon after, a strong run from second row Neil Wincomb set up the platform for the third try scored from close range by captain Tom Porter.

Trailing 20-7, Royal almost hit back but Garstang’s strong run was halted in Phoenix’s 22 by Coomber.

Phoenix ensured success and a bonus point when Townsend joined the line at pace and ran in comfortably.

A late penalty to the hosts extended the advantage to 21 points when the final whistle was blown.

Phoenix RFC: N Bird, Gill, Lloyd, Wincomb, Brickley, Porter, Willis Coltman, Harris, Roche, Pell, Winters, Coomber, Coventry, Townsend, Kilby, A Bird, Walsh, Robinson.

*A victory for Phoenix away at third-placed Harwell on Saturday will secure them promotion.

Mid-table Farnham Royal host Didcot.

Phoenix were also awarded RFU accreditation in a ceremony at the club on Saturday.

The award was made by Berkshire RFU president Chris Smith to Phoenix president Terry Furlonger.

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