PHOENIX consolidated third position in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Championship with a second win on the spin against Berkshire Shire Hall on Saturday.

Two weeks after recording a 19-7 victory over the Sonning-based club, Phoenix knew they were in for another tough contest against a fired-up opposition seeking revenge.

It was the home side however that came out of the traps faster at Institute Road and piled on pressure early on at the set-piece.

The Shire Hall pack must be sick of the sight of their opposite numbers after they were once again destroyed at the scrum and decidedly second best in the lineout.

It was from a stolen lineout on the Shire Hall five metre line that prop Luca Piemontesi powered over in the corner for the first try of the game.

Five minutes later Phoenix number eight Callum Brodie extended the lead following a well-worked lineout move.

In what was almost a carbon copy of the Brodie try, fly-half Jay Henderson went over after yet more good work from the Phoenix forwards.

Shire Hall hit back with a try of their own on the stroke of half-time for an 18-7 scoreline at the break.

If Phoenix thought they would have it all their own way in the second half they were mistaken. In a stirring fightback, the dangerous Shire Hall back line produced four well-crafted tries.

It was left to Phoenix outside centre Jason Townsend to save their blushes with a converted try that ensured a home win.

Phoenix player-coach Tony Porter said: "It's no wonder Tony Padfield's (head coach) hair is falling out. Our defensive display in the second half was the stuff of nightmares.

"Fortunately, we had enough credit in the bank from an excellent first half.

"It was lovely to see young Jay Henderson get a try. At first I mistook him for a prop at the bottom of a driving maul."

Phoenix travel to second-placed Abingdon this Saturday.

Elsewhere, Phoenix 2s beat Marlow 3s 17-15 in another close game at Institute Road.

The second team are now in sixth place in Berks, Bucks & Oxon Four South and make the short trip to Windsor 4s this Saturday.