CIRENCESTER thirds lost their first game of the season in a thriller at Sevenhampton.

Sweetfuels CDCA Div Three

Central Hall 205-8

Cirencester III 203-3

The game was a classic that will live long in the memory and turned on the performance of one player, Ben Hodgson, who scored his maiden ton.

Fielding a weaker side than usual Cirencester had six players under the age of 20, with a total age range of 13-64.

They remain top of the table – but the gap has closed.

Batting first Cirencester started steadily, building a platform through Tom Rutter (31) before George Thrussell joined Toby Bond to accelerate the score with 70 runs and 82 not out respectively.

But the Central Hall bowling and tigerish fielding restricted Cirencester to 203-3 in their 40 overs.

In reply Central Hall lost wickets steadily and the runs dried up; at 20 overs they were 70-4 and in trouble.

Hodgson obviously had different ideas and in a thrilling display of clean hitting and excellent running he drove his team on at ten an over until they needed 16 from the last over.

Hodgson proceeded to hit 13 runs off the first three balls, bringing up his maiden hundred. Neil Laing, the hosts' skipper then won the game off the penultimate ball with an emphatic boundary.

Cirencester fielded well and were simply undone by one superb performance. They will hope to bounce back with a stronger XI against the same opposition this weekend at The Park.