READING Abbey showed considerable heart, but ultimately went down 34-27 at home to Bicester in Southern Counties North.

The visitors took control of the game with converted tries from Charlie Bethell and Christian Mann, along with a Dan Walker penalty, putting them 17-0 up midway through the first half.

Charlie Shackleford landed a penalty to get Abbey on the board, and Darren Hunter then collected a loose ball to surge clear for a try.

However, Reece Sullivan crossed out wide for Bicester before Walker landed a brilliant conversion to make it 24-8 at the interval.

The away side wrapped up their bonus-point early in the second period, wing Remi Coventry crossing for a score which Walker again converted.

Abbey rallied after Coventry was sin-binned, though, and the impressive Gerry Sutherland went over from close range.

A Walker penalty extended Bicester's lead to 34-13, but they were the final points scored by the away side.

As the game entered its final quarter, Abbey were by far the better side, and earned deserved converted scores from the impressive Will Woodward and Mike Beckly.

However, the damage had been done, and the hosts had to settle for two bonus-points in an eighth defeat from nine games this season.

Second-bottom Abbey next visit Chesham on Saturday, December 7.

A FIRST-HALF try from Alice Denton and an Annette Bevan score after the break, converted by Denton, helped Reading Abbey Nuns make it seven Championship South West Two wins from seven with a hard-fought 12-0 success at Newbury.

Nuns next travel to second-placed Cullompton for a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, December 8.

BERKSHIRE Shire Hall continued their irresistable form with an 84-0 rout of Slough 2nds.

With the visitors conceding their Berks, Bucks & Oxon Two South fixture due to not having a front row, the sides played out a friendly in which Matt Margot continued his incredible try-scoring form with another hat-trick.

Stephane Margot, Luke Jellicoe and Jothram Kennington all dotted down twice, while Tom Gough, Chris Harber, Nathan Bourke, Jack Murray and Neil Evans crossed the whitewash to complete the 14-try rout.

Matt Margot also added three conversions for a match haul of 21 points, while Rhys Stewart knocked over four.