TOWCESTER inflicted Bugbrooke’s first home league defeat since October 2009 to effectively clinch their bid for promotion.
They now need just one point from their last three league games to secure automatic promotion
With so much at stake going into the game, Tows started hesitantly. Poor handling stunted their attempts to run the ball and they also conceded a string of penalties.
Finally, after 28 minutes, a Tows line-out drive saw Matt Bodily touch down for James Falvey to convert from touch to take a 0-7 lead.
But urged on by the home crowd, Bugbrooke came roaring back through scrum-half Tom Wood, son of former Tows’ fly-half John Wood.
Young Woody first broke round the end of a line-out to touch down and convert his own score, and then finished a driving maul to put Bugbrooke 12-7 in front.
Tows finished the half declining the penalty in front of the posts, electing to use their increasingly dominating scrum with tight head John Causebrook at the fore.
Camped on Bugbrooke’s line, Tows failed to finish their chances turning round to face up the slope with it all to do.
With Bugbrooke struggling to cope with the charges of Matt Bodily, Tows pack started to play to their full potency.
A Richard Tustian try from a line-out drive brought the score level. Tows now kicked to the corners, utilising the boots of Chrissie George and James Falvey. Replacement wing forward Yuon Skelton showed pace to run in under the posts. Falvey converted and Tows at last gained some control.
Former Bugbrooke winger Tilley was denied by a brilliant cover tackle from Prestidge, but two further line-out draws put over Tustian for his second and Eugene Baxter.
Bugbrooke hit back with a try with the game’s last play but the game was won and Tows have one hand on the league title.