STOW-on-the-Wold Rugby Club retained the Southern Counties North top spot with a 43-3 win at Wallingford.

A dominant second-half display enabled the Cotswold side to lead High Wycombe in the table by just one point.

Stow were again slow to start but Wallingford did not threaten apart from a penalty for offside.

Towards the end of the half, the visitors got their running game going with the forwards making good ground.

A penalty took play to halfway and the line-out was secured before Dan Savage took the ball on and went blind to James Holmes, who raced in to score.

Nick Cafearo converted and added a penalty to put Stow 10-3 ahead at the break.

But Stow took control in all departments in the second-half with the forwards making penetrating runs. A maul was driven 30 metres and a fine run by Louis Chapman resulted in a try that Cafearo converted.

Quick ball saw Cafearo come off his wing to score and convert before, after a series of close-range penalties, the referee awarded Stow a penalty try with Cafearo converting. They then disrupted a Wallingford scrum and flanker Ben Ullmer picked up to break with the ball going wide for Cafearo to score and add the extras again.

There was time for Cafearo to claim his hat-trick in the corner.

He could not convert but Stow defended solidly to see out a comfortable success.

Sixth-placed Chipping Norton’s improvement continued with a 64-10 thrashing of lowly Phoenix in the Berks/Bucks and Oxon Premier Division.