Chinnor kept themselves ahead of the rest in National League Division Two South with an excellent 37-20 victory away at Exmouth.
Chinnor were welcomed to deepest Devon by excellent playing conditions with sunshine, no wind and a soft surface, and they opened their account after just six minutes with a driving maul putting Nathan Hannay over for a try converted by Roddy Giles.
Exmouth were not going to be easy prey and responded with two well-taken penalties by full-back Cadywould to reduce the deficit to 7-6.
The visitors then piled on the pressure with some excellent passages of play. Close passing and driving runs by the forwards released the three quarters with their swift handling to put winger Broughton over in the corner.
A similar pattern of play continued, Armitage switching with full-back Goss who carved through Exmouth’s defence to score under the post.
Giles’ extra two points increased the lead to 19-6 but Exmouth had the final say of the half as Charlie Gribbins scored near the corner to bring them to within six at half-time.
Chinnor dominated the start of the second-half with their driving runs, support play and quick hands. Eventually a trademark try was scored with a penalty to the corner followed by a driving maul at the line-out, putting Hannay over for his second.
Exmouth then turned the tables on Chinnor and pinned them into their own 22 metre area, resulting in a yellow card for Manning and then a converted try for Mark Wathes.
With their lead sliced to just four, Chinnor responded immediately with a Giles penalty, followed by penetrating breaks by man of the match Hannay and Goodfellow.
Chinnor had a try disallowed but followed up with another penalty by replacement Basil Strang and in the last few minutes, Armitage intercepted a loose Exmouth pass and put Strang away on a 40-metre sprint to the corner and convert his own try, leaving Chinnor as worthy winners.
Whilst Exmouth stayed in touch on the scoreboard until the last 15 minutes, this was a significant step forward in performance by Chinnor with an encouraging return to form for the backline who reminded us of how crisp they can be.
This week Chinnor take on fourth from bottom Barnes at Kingsey Road with the intention of staying at the top.