IN A double-header of home games at Holly Bush there was something a festival atmosphere as Minchinhampton emerged victorious on two fronts to the delight of a good crowd.

Glos Reserve League

Minchinhampton Rams 36

Old Cryptians II 25

Minch firsts staged a superb defensive effort to prevail 19-17 against second-placed Smiths. The Rams’ final game of the season was an end-to-end affair with each side repeatedly cancelling out the other’s score until Minch finally stretched away from a depleted Old Cryptians in the last 10 minutes.

Minch lent the visitors two players, to even up the numbers, but it soon became clear that the enterprising Cryptians had plenty of quality in their ranks.

However, Minch themselves were not short on quality, as man-of-the-match Tom Jenns showed; he scored three tries, the pick of which was a catch-and-run in from his own well-judged chip. He also repeatedly set up bustling centre Richmond, who made good ground every time he got the ball.

The Rams enjoyed first tries for Ben Reid, who has been a consistently strong performer all season, and for Matt Bell, a well-deserved score after a storming run exploiting an overlap. Perhaps most heartening of all was the appearance of a young trio of impressive debutants – Ewan Kane, Freddie Williams and George Evans, whose proud father Mike was also playing.

Captain Beaumont thanked all the players for their effort and camaraderie throughout a challenging but successful season, as Minch Rams finished third in the Glos Reserve League North 3, having played every game.