IT was two wins from two for the Cotswold rugby teams in the Regional 2 Midlands West last weekend.

Shipston on Stour's 28-19 victory over fellow strugglers Malvern saw them leapfrog their opponents in the table into ninth, whilst Stow beat Cheltenham 36-5 to replace them in third.

Shipston went into their clash with Malvern a place behind them in 10th, down at the bottom of the table and in need of a positive result to kick-start their season. 

They started well and were able to take an early lead before soaking up some Malvern pressure in response. Having kept the visitors at bay, they were able to work their way back up the pitch and a two further tries and a penalty gave them a healthy 22-0 lead at half-time.

In the second-half, Shipston added a penalty to increase the lead to 25-0 but Malvern began to make inroads and a neat kick and chase saw them dot down for their first try.

Another penalty made it 28-5 but Malvern went on to score two more tries before the full-time whistle to edge towards an unlikely losing bonus-point. But it was all too little too late from the away side and Shipston held on for a valuable win.

As for Stow, it was a far more convincing victory as they romped to a big 36-5 win that saw them beat previously third-placed Cheltenham and rise above them as a result.

They continue to have a good season and with only two defeats to their name, they are only ten points off league leaders Newent.

This weekend, both Stow and Shipston are back in action with away games at Ludlow and Berkswell & Balsall respectively.