CHINNOR turned the tables on holders Banbury to lift the Oxfordshire Cup for the second time with a magnificent all-round team performance at a drizzly Iffley Road last night.

From young full back Alan Cawston right through to veteran No 8 Dick Rudman - nearly twice his age - Chinnor played with a passion, commitment and confidence to record their first success in this competition since 1977.

As in last year's final between these two sides, there were just 13 points scored in a tight contest dominated by defences.

But Chinnor, who failed to score on that occasion, had learned their lessons and this time thoroughly deserved their long overdue triumph.

Homework was the key. The Thame-based club's coaches, Lynn Evans and John Brodley, knew that if they could defend tightly around the base of the scrum and halt their incursions by the Banbury back row, they could stifle the side who a play a grade higher in the league.

Chinnor, with a formidable front five, soon established a dominance in the set scrums and with half backs John Vaughan and Pat Jobson kicking astutely, they had much the better of the game. Their try came after 17 minutes. Lock Andy Milburn broke off the side of a driving maul that had already gained ten metres and had a free run to the line.

That was the only score of the first half in which referee Steve Savage kept a tight rein on affairs. Yellow cards were shown to Rudman and to Banbury flanker Michael Styles, who was playing despite having been sent off in a league game on Saturday.

Chinnor's supporters in the 1,000 strong crowd had more to cheer five minutes after the break when Jobson landed a short-range penalty goal.

They should have won the game in the next ten dominant minutes. But instead of ramming home their advantage when given a penalty close to the corner, chose to kick at goal instead.

Jobson's kick missed and Banbury got back into the game, after making four changes which gave them a stronger looking line-up.

Centre Freddie Lee looked a particularly dangerous runner, but it was through their outstanding flanker Rob Callaway that they got back into the game with ten minutes left.

Receiving hooker John Fossey's pass, Callaway for once eluded the cover tackling to go over for a try.

This set up a tense climax, but Chinnor held firm and moments later long-serving skipper Vaughan was lifting the cup to their delighted fans.

The Ron Grimshaw Memorial Trophy for the man of the match went to Chinnor flanker Mike Cook.

But on the night there were 16 Chinnor heroes.

Banbury: Thomas, Viggers (F Lee 58), Cartwright, Botten, Brooks (Ilott 66), Chapman (capt), Hurst, Hobley, Fossey, Perkins (Thurlow 52), Chatterton (Ansell 54), Mackie, Styles, Callaway, Cockerton.

Chinnor: Cawston, Brooks, Wright, Davies, Simpson, Jobson, Vaughan (capt), Woodburn, John, Matthews, Porter, Milburn, Brown, Cook, Rudman (Fincken 72).

Referee: S Savage (Warwicks).

Story date: Wednesday 31 March

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.