County Cup Quarter Final.

Clifton U16s 58.

Cirencester U16s 7.

THE long trip down to play last year’s County Cup winners Clifton was always a big ask for Cirencester, whose squad has recently fallen from 28 to 19.

Clifton, as expected given the vast resources at their disposal, soon used a superior set piece game plan to dominate both possession and territory.

The visitors may have felt aggrieved that a monster forward pass led to one try but can have few complaints overall as Clifton built a healthy, unassailable lead by half-time.

The second half saw a rejuvenated Cirencester take the game to their hosts although a tendency to give away the full range of penalties often ensured that they could not work a scoring opportunity and often let Clifton clear their lines.

A try, though, did come as a virtual length-of-the-field set of pick-go, ruck-ball phases eventually saw the ball worked out wide to Elsey who drove through two Clifton defenders to score; the difficult conversion was well kicked by Cater.

Then, as in a recent high-profile soccer match, the referee yellow- carded the 6ft 6in Lochhead when the culprit was a similar scrum-cap-wearing but much shorter team-mate.

Clifton made the extra number count to give a rather flattering final score against a well beaten but by no means embarrassed Cirencester side who in hindsight felt that they had shown their hosts a little too much respect early on.