LONDON Irish's tough run continued as they lost a fifth straight game in all competitions when a much-changed side was beaten 27-10 at Bayonne in the European Challenge Cup.

There were some plus-points for Exiles as Matt Williams scored on his return from injury and new Australian prop Sekope Kepu came off the bench for his, but they could really do with finding a win to start building some of the momentum they had before Christmas.

Their first opportunity comes this Saturday with a rare game under the Madejski Stadium lights. While Declan Kidney's side are out of the competition, their opponents Scarlets will be targetting a last-eight spot, so the hosts will have to be on the mettle as they seek a change in fortunes.

The Rams fairytale continued as they won their first-ever Friday night floodlit game 21-17 at Chinnor to stay joint-top of National One.

It's hard to come up with further superlatives for the efforts of Seb Reynolds' men this season, but the way they repelled a feverish comeback from the hosts in front of a crowd in excess of 1,000 was among their most impressive achievements to date.

Quite incredibly they welcome Richmond to Old Bath Road this Saturday as the top two in the division collide – who'd have thought that would be the case after 18 games.

It should be an absolute barn-stormer.

My boys Reading recorded a seventh straight Southern Counties North victory and claimed bragging rights with a 27-8 success at Reading Abbey to complete a seasonal double.

Man-of-the-match Alex Dorliac led the side to a try bonus-point with Grant Spears, Stuart Borthwick and Ed Neeves also crossing the whitewash, and it keeps us firmly in the race for a play-off spot ahead of Saturday's visit of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Abbey, meanwhile, were brave in defeat, and they'll hope to return to winning ways at home to Shipston-on-Stour.

Lastly, Berkshire Shire Hall are another side in sensational form and they extended their Berks, Bucks & Oxon South Two unbeaten record to 10 matches with a 50-5 thrashing of Newbury 3rds.

Skipper Matt Margot grabbed another two tries to equal the record number for the club in a season, and he'll hope to claim it for himself at home to Phoenix this weekend.