CHRISTMAS is just round the corner and there were some early presents for the majority of our sides last weekend.

However, that doesn’t include London Irish, whose match at Edinburgh was switched to Murrayfield on the morning of the game.

They conceded eight tries in a second European Challenge Cup defeat in three games, and if they lose at home to Stade Francais on Saturday they’ll effectively be out of the competition.

Things are going much better for fourth-placed Redingensians Rams, who can be chuffed with their hammering of Canterbury in National Two South.

There was more good news for Rams as third-placed Taunton Titans lost at home to Cinderford, so they are now level on points ahead of a home game with Clifton on Saturday.

As for my boys Reading, we enjoyed a magnificent win and probably our highest winning league score away from home, hammering Southern Counties North basement boys Drifters.

Twenty-nine points from scrum half Nick Portch and hat-tricks from Chris Grieg and Melvyn Gilmour were stand-out achievements as the squad took another massive step towards league safety.

The great thing for us was we had four players all under the age of 20 playing in the side, Billy Woodworth, Connor Lee, Michael O’Toole and Will Proctor Searle and it’s just great to see the youth coming through, albeit this was Billy’s penultimate game before moving to New Zealand.

Ryan Smith, who was captain on the day, was playing his 50th cap and is still only 22, so we certainly do have some great young players coming through the ranks.

All-in-all it was a very satisfying result for the guys and this Saturday we are at home to Gosford All Blacks. We will be looking to put another big performance in and move further up the league.

Congratulations are also due to Reading Abbey, who produced a stunning second-half comeback at home to Thatcham, while commiserations are offered to Berkshire Shire Hall, who slumped to a home defeat to Aldermaston in the BB&O Championship.

Abbey visit Wallingford this Saturday.