Tribute Western Counties North.
Barton Hill 15 Cirencester 10.
CIRENCESTER produced a battling display in the heart of Bristol but could take only a losing bonus point from second-in-the-league Barton Hill, writes Will McCarthy.
A slow start by Ciren in boggy conditions allowed Barton Hill to rack up 12 unanswered points through their scrum in the first 15 minutes.
Ciren then successfully shut the door on the Bristol side and twice held them up over the line to prevent further scoring.
Both teams wanted to play rugby and Ciren’s back three of Alderman, Barber and Halsey returned any kick with aggression and determination, allowing the away side to gain momentum. Veterans Parry and Seager were combining well at half-back and Ciren clawed back three points through the boot of James Fisher.
Fisher then scored a magnificent individual effort, intercepting the attack and rounding the full back to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was also added leaving only two points between the sides at the break.
The second half saw the introduction of Brereton and Thorn in the pack to try and shore up the scrum and Brereton – as always – made a nuisance of himself around the park.
Ciren were now moving through the gears and the game was there for the taking, especially as they earned three penalty kicks at goal – but all were unsuccessful.
Barton Hill then scored another penalty to edge five points clear.
Valiant efforts by Renowden kept Ciren in the home team’s half and the pack mauled the ball forward time and time again but were unable to change the scoreboard.
MoM: James Renowden.