Tribute Western Counties North.
Cirencester 16 Keynsham 7.
TWO outstanding team tries secured a hard-fought home win for Cirencester at The Whiteway on Saturday.
League basement dwellers Keynsham battled to the end, proving that there are no easy games this season.
Ciren started brightly and a solid set piece led by Will McCarthy and James Renowden ensured there was a good base for the backline to stretch the away side. Ciren were playing all the rugby and they were unfortunate not to score a couple of early tries.
A James Fisher penalty got the home side on the scoreboard and this was then followed up by a mesmeric team try.
The forwards took a direct approach and strong rucking drew in Keynsham defenders. After a number of phases, veteran fly half Adam Seager received the ball from an Ashley Scrivens diving pass, while Alex Hammond created the gap with a dummy run. Seager then produced a defence-splitting pass to Fisher, who burst through the space, rounded the full back and scored in the corner.
The second half saw the introduction of prop Nick Handy and Ben Rayola, coach Dean Hammett making full use of the eight interchanges available to him.
A further penalty by Fisher increased the lead but the highlight of the second half was a well-created forwards' try that sealed the win.
Veteran scrum half Gareth Parry picked up at the base of the scrum, committed a couple of defenders and fed back inside to the rampaging Hammond, who unselfishly laid the ball off for Luke Fisher to score the try.
Keynsham then rallied and frustratingly scored a late try under the posts. This, along with Rory McCarthy’s dislocated shoulder, were the only downsides of a strong Ciren display.
MoM: James Renowden and Gareth Parry.