THIS was a game Minch Rams should have won yet almost threw away.

Glos Reserve League North Three

Minchinhampton Rams 24

Cheltenham Civil Service II 24

Credit to Cheltenham Civil Service, who staged a tremendous, aggressive fightback, but at 17-0 up after 15 minutes Minch thought they were on their way to a big win.

Service's three second-half tries banished such thoughts and it turned into a nail-biter.

Minch didn’t play badly, but several factors let them down. Once ahead, complacency set in, enabling Service to regroup and the Rams played less cohesively.

Tackles were missed and injuries proved disruptive, as Weaver’s reward for his early try was a heavy blow to the nose and Plaisted was forced off injured.

Bray-Warner and Arnold, both of whom scored tries – one converted by Baltrami – were strong performers, and Will Goodwin scored a splendid try on the wing.

In the end, Minch showed grit to hold on, with commendable team spirit.