Southern Counties North

GROVE were knocked off top spot after a frustrating 22-20 defeat at Milton Keynes.

The match saw four yellow cards and one red, with Grove questioning some “very strange refereeing”.

Full back Roger Sevier gave Grove the lead with a penalty, but Milton Keynes hit back with a try.

Wing Harry Carr sprinted over on 16 minutes to put Grove 8-5 ahead, but the hosts led 22-8 at the break.

Yellow cards for Grove’s Sevier and Ben Nicholl were compounded by three home tries and a conversion.

After the break, Milton Keynes had one forward sin-binned and another sent off for a second yellow card.

Tries from wing Guy Nicholl and replacement Jamie Burns, the latter converted by fly half Dave Maryon, earned Grove a losing bonus point.

A much-changed Alchester side lost 18-15 at Tadley.

Fly half Tom Miles slotted a penalty as Alchester, who had centre Matt Flegg sin-binned, trailed 8-3 at half-time.

Props Nick Brits and Charlie Surman went over in the second period, Miles convereting the former as Alchester led 15-11.

But Tadley sealed the spoils with a converted try.

Wallingford are only clear of the relegation zone on points difference after a 51-12 defeat at Thatcham.