CHINNOR returned to winning ways with a hard-fought bonus-point victory at home to Canterbury.
Tries from Chris Elder, Dan Southworth, Nick Selway and Willie Ryan helped the Oxfordshire side to a well-deserved five points in wet and windy conditions at Kingsey Road.
It was a good reaction from successive defeats to Rotherham Titans and Old Elthamians and moves the Thame-based side to seventh in National League 1.
Director of rugby Matt Williams made five changes, one positional, from the previous week.
Lock Ehize Ehizode made his first start since joining the club in the summer, while Matt Marley started at open-side flanker in place of captain Carl Kirwan.
Elder returned at inside centre, Pete Laverick was moved to 13, while Caolan Ryan stepped up from the bench at full-back.
Chinnor made a fast start and were rewarded for their endeavours when they took the lead on ten minutes
A line-out 15 metres out, followed by a fine flat pass from blind-side flanker Ofisa Treviranus, led to Elder gliding through two challenges to cross the try-line, Laurence May converting.
However, a succession of penalties allowed the visitors to make progress up the pitch and they levelled after 21 minutes as Tristan King was driven over from a line-out, Dan Smart adding the extras.
The hosts quickly restored their advantage, though.
Canterbury resisted phase after phase of Chinnor pressure, with the hosts picking and going from five metres out. However, they could not hold out forever and loosehead prop Southworth eventually forced his way over under the posts, May converting, to make it 14-7 after 26 minutes.
The visitors were able to level proceedings again, though, before heading into the break a point ahead.
Successive penalties again allowed Canterbury to work their way up the pitch and William Scholes was driven over for an unconverted try.
Scrum-half Smart then kicked a wind-assisted penalty from just under half-way to put the visitors 15-14 in front.
With plenty of rugby to play there was no need for Chinnor to panic and they stepped it up a gear after the break.
A driving line-out led to hooker Selway plunging over for his third try of the season, May converting, as the home side went 21-15 in front after 48 minutes.
Canterbury, who are definitely close to their first win of the season, refused to give in and Smart’s quick hands sent Ricky Mackintosh racing over. However, Smart missed the conversion attempt as Chinnor found themselves 21-20 in front.
Despite there only being a point in it, the hosts always looked to be in control of proceedings and they settled the match, as well as the four-try bonus-point, with ten minutes to go.
Another set-piece proved effective as No 8 Willie Ryan expertly kept the ball at his feet at the back of a scrum and dived over as the Canterbury pack were driven backwards. Fly-half May continued his fine day from the tee to nail his fourth conversion and make it 28-20.
The hosts pressured for another score as the game entered the closing stages, but the fixture ended on a sour note as Chinnor’s Ben Thomas and Canterbury’s Sean Stapleton were red-carded for foul play.
Nevertheless, it was a positive day for the Oxfordshire side, who produced a pleasing performance to get the better of a big visiting pack and pick up maximum points.
Chinnor: C Ryan, Worrall, Laverick, Elder, Yawayawa, May, Flinn, Southworth, Selway, McNulty, Thomas, Ehizode, Treviranus, Marley, W Ryan.
Replacements: Petch, George, Manning, Moore-Aiono, Ashby.
Canterbury: Waddington, Mackintosh, Corcoran, Meads, Grimes, Craven, Smart, Cooper, King, Dever, Cadman, Corker, Scholes, Stapleton, Micans.
Replacements: Murray, Syminton, Connolly, Meeson, Oliver.