Tribute Western Counties North

Cirencester 43

Oldfield Old Boys 36

CIRENCESTER edged this bottom-of-the-table clash which was a thriller until the final whistle.

Ciren started the match on the front foot but Oldfield’s young, pacy backs were causing Cirencester trouble and on five minutes the winger broke away and ran in to score under the posts resulting in an easy conversion.

Soon after the restart a stray pass from Will McCarthy was intercepted and the same winger scored out wide to make it 12-0 to Oldfield after just nine minutes.

On 21 minutes Ciren put together a few phases and skipper Alex Hammond crossed the line for Ciren's first score.

From the restart Ben Rayalo drove into the danger area and a well angled run from Neil Bunce created space for the ball to go wide to Gloucestershire All Golds rugby league player James Fisher who scored a try which Gareth Parry converted (12-12).

With the half coming to a close the Cirencester backs managed to create space for winger Andy Halsey to cross the whitewash, with Parry's conversion giving Ciren a 19-12 half-time lead.

Oldfield took just four minutes of the second half to level the scores with a rolling maul.

Conditions were ideal for running rugby but both sides were guilty of spreading the ball recklessly at times. From one turnover the Ciren backs made use of the overlap for Jacob Rakuiti to score; Parry's conversion made it 26-19.

The Cirencester forwards began to take control and from a five-metre scrum they drove the Oldfield pack over the line for Hammond to score his second.

Instead of simply calming things down Cirencester completely switched off and Oldfield scored two quick tries to level the scores with 10 minutes left (31-31).

From the restart the Cirencester forwards reclaimed the ball and, with the marauding Bunce and James Renowden running superb lines to suck in the defenders, a gap was created for Fisher to go over again; Parry converted to make it 38-31 with four minutes remaining.

Instead of petering out, the game refused to die and Oldfield rallied once more to reduce the deficit to just two points against some very tired home players.

In the last couple of minutes the match could have swung either way but with the last play of the game, Sam Hill crashed over to make the final score 43-36 to the hosts.