I'M going to start off by congratulating the Under 18 girls at my club Reading, who picked up silverware by beating London Scottish 17-15 to win the Area 2 Cup on Sunday.

It's a great achievement for a very talented team, and their adventure will continue when they play in the last four nationally.

We've had women's rugby at the club since 1990, and it's great to add another trophy to what's been achieved in the past.

Sadly for Reading, we had less success on the men's side as we went down 41-17 at Bicester in Southern Counties North.

It was a day when coach Ben Wills must have wondered if he'd walked under a ladder, losing forwards Rob Cunningham, Ryan Smith and Steve Orwin to injury as the game went on.

It meant it was always going to be tough against a powerful Bicester side, but considering the setbacks, we at least showed some real heart and put in some massive tackles.

Elsewhere, London Irish extended their lead at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship, now topping the table by 10 points after beating London Scottish 52-21.

The bonus-point win, coupled with nearest rivals Ealing Trailfinders failing to score four tries in their 22-14 success at home to lowly Hartpury RFC, means Declan Kidney's side are in command with six games to go.

There is a potential banana skin on the horizon this coming Sunday, with Yorkshire Carnegie shown serious signs of improvement since a dire start to the season, but if Exiles can get through that, they'll be very near to a return to the top flight.

Another side having a season to remember are Rams, whose hooker Ben Henderson scored one of the tries-of-the-season in their 48-17 win at Dings Crusaders.

He's one of the new breed of ball-playing front rows, but to chip ahead and collect the ball before powering over is quite something.

Rams host Taunton Titans on Saturday, and will aim to maintain or extend their 12-point cushion over second-placed Canterbury.

Elsewhere, Reading Abbey produced a heroic comeback, but went down 31-29 at Aylesbury, so Luke Harding will be after a reaction when they host Bicester this week.

And lastly, Berkshire Shire Hall – beaten at Phoenix – welcome BB&O Championship leaders Chipping Norton to Sonning Lane.

They lost their 14-match unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, and hopefully Shire Hall can inflict more misery on their visitors.