GEORGE Grieve scored a hat-trick of tries as Banbury began their Oxfordshire Cup defence with a 57-13 win over Oxford Brookes University.

Brookes’s Giorgo Arricale and Bulls’ Ed Phillips traded early penalties in the preliminary round tie.

But Banbury soon took a 17-3 lead, when Grieve and Alex Gandy crossed, Phillips converting both.

Hugo Brown’s try for the students narrowed the gap, but Bulls raced ahead.

Tries from Gandy and Grieve, Phillips adding the extras, made it 31-8.

Freddie Cracknell was sin-binned just before half-time but despite being a man down, Banbury continued to dominate, with Sam Stoop darting over and Phillips converting.

Tobias Hudson-Davies replied for Brookes, but Bulls were not finished.

Grieve completed his hat-trick, before Tommy Gray and Jimmy Manley crossed, Phillips converting all three, to complete the scoring.

Bicester also progressed after being handed a walkover by Gosford All Blacks.

l HOLDERS Oxford University Whippets made a strong start in the Oxfordshire Shield, beating Oxford 66-5.

Henry Martin crossed for a hat-trick of tries, with Greg Neal Smith, Joe Kearney and Chris Annous all scoring twice in the preliminary round tie.

Louis Pincott, who kicked eight conversions, and Tobias Clarke also dived over.

Littlemore came from behind to beat Didcot 44-20.

Trailing 20-0 at the break, the hosts hit back with a superb second-half display.

Aaron Ward (2), Cameron Bashford, Luke Ward, Darren Massey, Jake Dawson and Johnny Gerrard crossed for Littlemore.

Jonny Williams kicked three conversions and a penalty.

Blue Boar booked their place in the first round, when beating Chipping Norton 33-12.