Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier.

Thatcham 36, Stow-on-the-Wold 24.

THATCHAM secured promotion but they were given a battle in the second half by a young Stow side, who travelled with just 17 players.

The home side got off to a flier, with Stow struggling to cope in the set piece and missing tackles all over the field.

Within 15 minutes Stow were already 19 points down, having leaked two converted and one unconverted tries.

Stow’s only real threat came from full back James Holmes.

Thatcham finished the half in style with two more unconverted tries to give them a solid 29-0 lead at the break.

The second half started as the first finished with Thatcham scoring from the restart when the Stow defence went to sleep.

A stern rally call was needed and Stow woke up to dominate the remaining 35 minutes.

A quickly taken penalty resulted in Holmes getting Stow off the mark. Then, after several phases, Craig Chapman sprinted over with George Roddan converting.

Stow now had their tails up and should have scored again when a three-on-one was wasted, but this was made up for when Chapman scored his second after a penalty; Roddan again converted.

With only a few minutes left, Holmes intercepted a pass in his own half and sprinted in for his second try and Stow’s bonus point.

Stow will rue their poor first half display but a very young side performed very well in the second period.