CHRIS Bolton scored a hat-trick of tries as Stratford-upon-Avon RFC claimed the local bragging rights with a 39-29 victory against Shipston-on-Stour.
Bolton scored the game’s first try before touching down twice in the second half while Dan Whitby finished with an impressive 19-point individual haul.
And Charlie Powell also dotted down for the home side at Pearcecroft as Stratford claimed victory in the first meeting between the two clubs in 18 years.
The result means Stratford sit eighth in the Regional 2 Midlands West table, one place and one point above rivals Shipston.
Stratford opened the scoring after a strong start as Bolton finished off a flowing team move in the left corner with Whitby adding the difficult conversion from the touchline.
And Whitby added another three points soon after to cancel out a Shipston penalty before scoring Stratford’s second try, showing excellent pace to touch down under the posts.
After converting his own score, Shipston responded with a try of their own, making the most of an overlap to score, as Stratford went into the break with a 17-10 lead.
However, Stratford extended their advantage early in the second period when Bolton crossed for his second try of the game after Shipston had a player sent to the sin bin.
The home side then lost Gus Wightman to the sin bin after conceding a string of penalties at the breakdown as Shipston scored their second try in the corner soon after.
Almost straight from the restart, Whitby kicked a penalty to extend Stratford’s lead to eight points only for Shipston to capitalise on a defensive error to close the gap to a single score with another try.
However, Bolton completed his treble after collecting a high ball and displaying excellent footwork to dance his way under the posts unopposed with Whitby kicking the extras.
And Stratford sealed the win when Powell touched down after collecting replacement prop Tom Flemming’s neat offload before Shipston scored a try with the final play of the game.