OLD Halesonians RFC moved into pole position in Midlands One West with a 29-0 win against Hereford.
The Wassell Grove outfit are level on points with Worcester Wanderers at the top but have a game in hand meaning six points from their last two games will be enough to claim the title.
In front of a packed crowd on the club’s Presidents Day, Hales withstood early pressure from the visitors before scoring the first try through Joe Oxford.
Chris Hooper added the conversion and was soon required again after a dominant scrummage close to the visiting line lead to Tim Breakwell getting the second try of the game.
Hereford managed to hold out further until half-time but Hopper added a penalty early in the second period, before Luke Smith notched a third try to make it 22-0.
With the game over as a contest, Hales still needed a crucial bonus point try and it arrived courtesy of Smith, who rounded his opposite number to score in the corner.
Old Hales travel to Northwich away on Saturday.
It was a busy day all round at Wassell Grove with both the seconds and thirds also in action. The seconds thrashed their Camp Hill counterparts 105-0, with Andy Holloway running in five tries and Tom Harris three.
Dan Grant and Jake Harley-Yeadon scored two each while the individual try of the game was scored by Rob Butler, who took the ball on halfway and brushed off five tackle attempts before racing the final 20 metres to the try line.
There was no such joy for the third XV, who lost 15-10 to Hereford though the fourths fared better, beating Bromsgrove Veterans 22-8.