Newbury Blues are into the promotion spots after a thumping win over Oxford Harlequins.
They thrashed the Quins 46-14 for the bonus point with a dominant display at Monks Lane.
But Saturday’s win was even sweeter for the Blues as Old Pats – who had been in the top two of the South West 1 East for the majority of the season – suffered a surprise defeat away to Old Centralians.
It means Newbury have a four point advantage over Old Pats with just two games remaining, both against sides in the bottom three.
Saturday’s game got off to a dream start for the Blues as Jon Bastable got on the board after just four minutes, with Nick Wackwitz converting.
A Wackwitz penalty soon after extended their lead before Newbury were awarded a penalty try after Josh Love was taken out without the ball.
The Quins were able to get off the mark in the run-up to half-time, but there was still time for Josh Bartlett to dodge several Oxford defenders for a try close to the posts for Newbury, giving them a 24-7 lead.
Almost immediately after the restart the Blues secured the bonus point as Bartlett added his second try.
Another score came moments later as Joe Piggott completed a 30-yard run to go over, although the conversion went wide.
With the final quarter of an hour approaching Newbury extended their lead as Jamie Futcher went over.
On 70 minutes Oxford managed to pull another try back, but Newbury were still able to add their seventh as Bartlett completed his hat-trick.
The chance for promotion is now in Newbury’s hands. They will need to make sure they don’t make any mistakes when they visit Reading on Saturday before hosting Reading Abbey in their season finale on April 22.