Banbury Bulls 18, Oxford Harlequins 57

Oxford Harlequins continued their domination of the Oxfordshire Cup with a record-breaking victory over an outclassed Banbury side in the final at Iffley Road on Sunday.

The South West 1 outfit, despite having replacement prop Will Johnson sent off in the second half, demolished their spirited opponents with a nine-try spree to mount the highest score and the biggest margin of victory in the final's 38-year history.

It was Quins' fourth win on the trot in this competition and their fifth in the last six years.

The victory was never in doubt, once the strong favourites had established a 14-point lead in the first eight minutes.

While the forward battles were closely contested, Quins had overwhelming advantage behind the scrum where their searing pace and slick passing proved too much for their opponents, who play two divisions lower in the league structure.

This was illustrated by Quins' first try when they ran the ball from their own 22.

A break by talented fly half Mark Forth and constant recycling forced a penalty 15 metres from the Banbury line.

A quick tap penalty and winger Nick Sevier was over in the right corner.

Three minutes later, Huw Jones, a full back with exceptional pace, set up a similar score.

From another tap penalty, Quins this time went left to give winger Ollie Campbell a try in the opposite corner.

With Forth adding both conversions, Quins were 14-0 up and heading for a massive win.

To their credit, Banbury settled and their forwards worked hard to get a foothold in the game, centre Dave Taylor landing a penalty in the 12th minute.

None typified Banbury's spirit more than cussed flanker Sean Bannister, who was a constant thorn in his opponents’ side.

Quins flanker Matt Young was yellow-carded following a prolonged tussle with his opposite number Bannister, but Banbury failed to make the extra player count.

Indeed, Quins stretched their lead when a jinking run by Campbell set up a try for centre Shaunn Lombard. Forth's third conversion made it 21-3.

However, Banbury spent a bit of time in the Quins 22 and centre Taylor was twice involved in setting up their first try by replacement David Phipps.

Any thoughts of a comeback were quashed just before half-time when flanker Ben Nicholl scored a try from a forward drive, Forth's conversion making it 28-8 at the break.

The match was over as a contest, although both sides entertained the 300-strong crowd with some running rugby in ideal conditions.

Unconverted tries early in the second half from prop Pete Boulton – wearing a 19 shirt because the No 3 was not big enough for him! – and centre Anthony Cope – on his 30th birthday – emphasised Quins' superiority.

There followed the usual plethora of second-half substitutions, but one of the replacements – Johnson – lasted only eight minutes before he was red-carded!

He appeared to have been niggled by Bannister and swung a haymaker that might have knocked out Joe Frazier had it landed.

But Gloucestershire referee Dino Maddern sent Johnson off for intent.

Bannister, himself, took advantage of the situation to score a close-range try as Quins' seven-man pack were on the retreat near their tryline.

The biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Quins skipper, prop Simon Chadbone who is nicknamed Tamworth, trotted over from 20 metres following neat work from lock Cameron Gray.

At a slightly quicker pace, Jones sprinted over from 50 metres following a quick free-kick. Forth converted both these tries to make it 52-13.

Banbury refused to wilt and responded with a try from full back Darren de Bruyn following more good work by their pack.

However, Quins had the final say with Campbell jinking over in the corner for his second try.

It clinched him the man of the match and he received the Ron Grimshaw Memorial Trophy in the post-match presentations, while a delighted Chadbone collected the cup on behalf of his deserving side.

Banbury: De Bruyn, Smith, Walsh, Taylor, Collett (Phipps 17), Holmes, Davies, Edmunds (Stratford 51, Harrison 72), Ell, Gilbert, Pratt, Brock, Phillips (Day 10), Bannister, Brand (capt).

Oxford Harlequins: Jones, Campbell, Lombard, Cope, Sevier (Noyce 52), Forth, Sewell, Chadbone (capt), Needham, Boulton (Johnson 57), McDowell (Davies 46), Nicholl (Edney 68), Young (Gardner 57), Pearson.

Referee: D Maddern (Gloucs).

Man-of-the-match: Campbell.