Chinnor’s four match winning streak was ended this week when Clifton staged a second half fightback to come away with a slender 29-26 victory.
Clifton went straight on the attack but an interception took Chinnor up field and that was taken up by lock Nathan Harvey who drove the pack towards the Clifton try line before captain James Tyas went over for an unconverted try.
Sam Angell increased the away side’s lead with a 20th minute penalty but Clifton responded immediately with a well-worked move putting winger Pomphrey away to score an unconverted try, cutting the deficit to three points.
The home side’s fly-half, Mackay, then pulled the scores level and play remained fairly even thereafter as Angell and Mackay exchanged further penalties.
Chinnor, though, went through a period of dominated shortly before half-time as they strung together several phases of rolling mauls, taking them into Clifton’s 22.
A blind side break then gave Tyas his second try which went unconverted and put Chinnor back ahead, although a third Mackay penalty meant the lead was just two at half-time.
Clifton had the advantage of the slope in the second period and their pressure was rewarded with yet another penalty as Mackay made no mistake for the fourth time to put his side ahead for the first time in the match.
Angell and Chinnor were not going away quietly as the visitors retook the lead with another kick at goal, however in the last 20 minutes the Clifton pack provided their speedy backs with plenty of attacking opportunities from which flanker Luckwell and fly half Mackay both scored with the latter adding a conversion.
In the last three minutes, the Chinnor forwards rallied and drove deep into Clifton territory with Nathan Hannay crossing the line for a try converted by Angell.
Though that was in vain in terms of the result, it did at least ensure Chinnor left Clifton with a bonus-point which keeps them eight points clear of the bottom three in National League Division Two South.
Chinnor now have a break for Easter before returning to action against Old Elthamians on April 2.