BANBURY Bulls closed the gap to the top two in South West 1 East with a convincing 45-7 win over Salisbury.

The hosts lost Liam Lloyd and Caleb Shepherd to injuries in an opening 20 minutes where neither side troubled the scoreboard.

But just as a repeat of the previous weekend’s 6-6 draw at Royal Wootton Bassett looked on the cards, Salisbury crossed for a converted try.

This kicked Banbury into gear, with Ed Phillips assisting Kieran Fitzgibbon’s try before adding the extras himself.

Dan Brady crossed following some slick hands to put the hosts 12-7 ahead at half-time.

He scored his second soon after the break with a fine individual effort, beating two men before diving over for a one-handed finish.

Brady was again in the thick of it as Banbury secured the bonus point moments later, breaking down the left wing before passing to James Jennings to cross for a converted score.

The duo combined again as Jennings crossed for another converted try to make it 31-7.

Duncan Leese scored in the corner for another converted score, before Joel Thomas’s solo effort rounded off the win, with Phillips adding the extras.

A spirited second-half showing from Oxford Harlequins was not enough to prevent a 29-23 defeat at Beaconsfield.

Three first-half tries from the hosts saw them rack up 24 points, with Rory Garrett’s penalty the only score for Quins.

The visitors came out strongly after the break and Jack Crowe scored on 55 minutes, Garrett adding the extras.

Two minutes later Quins were back in the game as Garrett converted Martin Nutt’s try to reduce the gap to seven points.

Garrett kicked two more penalties, but a breakaway try for Beaconsfield condemned the visitors to defeat.