Ben King and Tom White scored two tries apiece as Elthamians won a nine-try thriller at College Meadow on Saturday.

But they were taken to the wire by a tenacious Birmingham side who fought back from 24-10 down to take a narrow lead midway through the second half.

The kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes after the visitors were held up in traffic and it was OEs who came storming out of the blocks. They took an early 12-3 lead thanks to a wonderful length of the field try created by Bryan Hotston and James Golledge and finished off by winger Dom Lespierre in the corner. and then No.8 King forced his way over from close range.

James Williams replied with a penalty for the visitors who hit back through their forwards which allowed scrum-half Rob Lewis to force his way over for a try on 27 minutes.

But it was Elthamians who were to have the last word of an even first period, King again driving over from close range on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was a thrilling end-to-end affair. White touched down just four minutes after the restart after good work from his forwards to extend Elthamians lead to 24-10. But Birmingham stunned the home side with two well-worked tries in quick succession from centre Ollie Allsop and winger Sam Pointon.

When Williams kicked his second penalty on the hour mark, momentum had swung the way of the visitors as they moved into the lead for the first time, 27-24.

But an opportunist second try from White who darted around the blindside allowed the home side to retake the lead and then centre James Golledge capped a man of the match performance with a superb, jinking run for the decisive score on 68 minutes.