OXFORD Cavaliers were unable to finish their season with silverware as they lost 32-26 to Cheltenham Phoenix in the West of England League Plate final.

Having finished third in the table, the Merton-based side faced their Gloucestershire opponents at Trowbridge RFC.

Both sides started brightly and it was Cavaliers who opened the scoring, captain Arron Lambourne converting his own try to make it 6-0.

Cheltenham replied, but Oxford soon made it 12-6 when John Baird went over, Lambourne adding the extras.

However, Phoenix hit back to level the scores at the break.

Cavaliers started the second half strongly and were awarded an eight-point try when a foul was committed as Baird crossed for his second, Lambourne converting twice, to make it 20-12.

But Cheltenham punished Oxford errors to claw back the deficit and go 30-20 in front.

Cavaliers were not finished and Rory Smith crashed over, Lambourne converting, as they closed to within four points.

However, Phoenix had the last say with a late penalty making sure of victory.