Valley Cougars made it four successive wins with a hard-fought 44-28 victory over Oxford Cavaliers in the National Conference South this weekend.
The home side were forced to dig deep for a result which puts them above the Cavaliers as they received four yellow cards.
The Cougars fell behind in the first minute as hooker Wes Newton scampered out of dummy-half and found Jonny Morris to score.
Dafydd Hellard replied with his first of three tries as a quick play-the-ball put the home side on the front foot and Karl Jones released his centre to race under the posts for a simple conversion for Paul Emanuelli.
After both sides traded sets searching for a second opening, a big Emanuelli tackle ignited an incident which saw Mike Connor and the Oxford centre sin-binned, before the Cougars fell to 11 men as Darryl Carter was also shown yellow.
Rather than crumble, the home side started to win the forward tussle and on the last tackle Emanuelli’s cut out pass put Lee Goddard over.
Three minutes later, the lively Newton pulled one back from close range before Gareth Way’s superb offload out of the tackle saw Hellard charge down the sideline for his second try.
From the restart, Chris Speck gathered and broke the line before offloading to Yousif Suliman to restore the Cougars’ two-score lead going into half-time.
However, further cards, for Carter and Emanuelli, ensured the second period would be just as challenging and Chris Ansell scored for Oxford shortly after the restart.
Having been penalised for early discretions, Connor and Carter returned to help the Cougars and both scored to put some breathing space between the two sides.
Morris responded with his second of the afternoon, before full-back Dan Davies wriggled his way over in the final stages.
There was still time for Hellard to grab his hat-trick, again receiving a pass off Jones and this time holding off a number of tacklers to touch down in the corner.