City of Birmingham also won comfortably at Haberdashers – 18-10 against Newport. Alun Chesworth scored six.
There were much closer finishes in men’s Division 5. In the battle of two League newcomers, Northampton won 10-9 against Avondale. Northampton were 10-6 up with 3.27 to go, Cristin Banarescu netting five. Then, in double quick time, they conceded goals by Stef Pecilj (2) and Ben Fitton – and will have been relieved that Avondale were unable to convert a man-up chance in the last few seconds.
Sheffield Dolphins and Chester drew 9-9, a topsy-turvy game in which Dolphins recovered from 3-0 down to lead 6-3 at one stage. Miles Ralston (Photo: Trevor Hyde) led the Sheffield scoring with four. Paul Williams contributed four for Chester.