LITTLEMORE beat rivals Wheatley 23-10 in a gripping final to lift the Oxfordshire Shield for a third time.

Tries from Jonny Gerrard, Luke Ward and captain Rich Tattersall saw the Oxford Academy-based side triumph on a cold day at Iffley Road.

It secured a third Shield victory for Littlemore after their wins in 1997-98 and 2004-05.

But it marked the continuation of Wheatley’s woes in the competition, with the silverware still proving elusive despite having reached four finals in the last five years.

Littlemore led 8-0 after seven minutes, thanks to a Stewart Beale penalty and try from winger Gerrard.

Wheatley responded well and Aaron Laman kicked a 22nd minute penalty.

They were let off the hook soon after, though, as Littlemore winger Aaron Ward fumbled with the try-line at his mercy.

But they found themselves pinned in their 22 and went onto trail by 15 points at the break.

Prop Luke Ward forced his way over and Beale, who also landed a penalty, converted.

In an error-strewn second half, Wheatley gave themselves hope when scrum half Jack Taylor picked up from the base of a ruck to score a brilliant try on 59 minutes which Laman converted.

But Littlemore’s response was impressive as moments later centre Tattersall scampered over, Beale adding the extras, to make it 23-10 with 16 minutes to play.

There was no way back for Wheatley as their opponents celebrated another Shield triumph.