STOW-on-the Wold Rugby Club suffered a third Southern Counties North defeat of the season in a severe blow to their title hopes.

They lost 32-12 at home to in-form Bicester after a 36-0 beating at Aylesbury the previous weekend.

Stow had three players out injured and more unavailable as the mid-table visitors went ahead on 20 minutes with an unconverted effort.

Another try left the hosts trailing 10-0 at the break.

Stow came out of the blocks quickly in the second-half and James Holmes raced in to score.

Holmes then beat two defenders to score again with the conversion giving Stow a two-point lead.

But Bicester stole back the initiative and a try regained the lead before Stow had a player red carded after a dust-up.

Bicester took over and ran in three more tries with one converted.

Stow, who are now eight points adrift of High Wycombe in second place, next play on Saturday, January 10 at Drifters.