OXFORD took a step closer to Twickenham when they reached the South West Division final of the Junior Vase with a 36-13 victory against Puddletown in Dorset.

The BB&O Championship side will now host South Molton on March 17 for a place in the national semi finals.

Oxford opened up a 12-3 lead, thanks to a penalty try and Thom Murtons diving over the line.

Tom Veccione (2), Karl Crockford and Danny Williams crossed in the second half, Murtons converting twice, as they convincingly secured victory and lifted the Southern Counties shield.

l BICESTER’S slide towards relegation continued when they went down 41-12 at Stratford-upon-Avon.

They are now 11 points adrift at the bottom of South West 1 East with six games to go.

Bicester conceded five tries in the first half to trail 31-5, before reducing the deficit with a converted try.

But Stratford went on to score two further tries and race to victory.