BANBURY Bulls slipped to their first defeat of the season in a below-par performance against Old Centralians.

Tries from Duncan Leese and Tommy Gray proved in vain as the hosts lost 36-14.

Old Centralians dominated the early possession and went ahead through Sam Pooly’s try.

Banbury hit back to lead after Leese won a chase to the line, Tommy Gray converting to make it 7-5.

However, Keiran Blackmore’s try put the visitors ahead before the break, and the lead was extended after the restart through Mike Mathers.

Although Gray converted his own try to give Banbury hope at 19-14 behind, that was as good as it got.

A penalty try, score from Dan Tyler and penalty stretched Old Centralians’ advantage.

Defeat saw Banbury slip to third, just one place ahead of Oxford Harlequins, who thumped Trowbridge 41-14, despite trailing 14-7 early on.

First-half tries by Ed Yates and two from Harry Burn, with Rory Garrett converting twice, gave Quins a 19-14 half-time lead.

No 8 Matt White crashed over from a line-out after the break to extend the lead, Garrett again on target with his kick.

Hooker Rhys Painton went over for his first try for the club, with lock Allan Purchase also touching down late on, Garrett adding a penalty and conversion to seal an emphatic success.

  • WHEATLEY defeated visitors Oxford 39-15 in the first round of the Oxfordshire County Shield.

There was little between the teams at half-time, the home leading 10-8 thanks to a try, conversion and penalty from Aaron Laman.

Another penalty stretched the lead, before Wheatley surged clear with tries from Jordan Hook, Michael Ridge, Jack Smith and Joe Taylor. Three Laman conversions made it 39-8.

Although Oxford hit back with a converted try, scored while two of their players were receiving treatment for head injuries, Wheatley had done enough.