BERKSHIRE Shire Hall endured a difficult day at the office as they were thumped 45-5 by Aldermaston in their top-of-the-table Berks, Bucks & Oxon Two South encounter on Saturday.

The home side never got going in the first half and went into the break trailing 24-0, and while Rhys Stewart grabbed a 73rd-minute consolation for Shire Hall, they ended well beaten.

The Sonning Lane club remain second in the standings, but are now seven points adrift of Aldermaston.

LONDON Irish co-captain Blair Cowan has backed the decision to temporarily suspend the Gallagher Premiership in light of governement advice on how to restrict Coronavirus.

In a message to fans sent on St Patrick's Day, the Scottish international said: "Obviously we're going through a tough time at the moment. We're all disappointed with the recent news of the league being postponed, but the main priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.

"So for the time being, lets all listen to the advice of the professionals, and follow their guidance.

"On behalf of myself, and everyone at London Irish, please be safe and look after each other. Hopefully we see you all soon."