A SUPERB century from Cirencester’s Tony Wood rescued the Town from an early collapse at Cinderford on Saturday, but their hopes of returning to winning ways were washed out by persistent rain just when the contest was in the balance.

Readers Glos CCL Div One

Cinderford St John 119-3

Cirencester 195-6

Wood’s unbeaten 104 had inspired the Town to recover from 23-3 to an eventual total of 195-6.

Cinderford had reached 119-3 after 34 overs when the heavens opened and the umpires deemed that no further play was possible, leaving the contest abandoned.

Having lost heavily at home to Frampton the previous week and fielding a below-strength side, Cirencester went into the game with some trepidation. That appeared justified as they made a poor start on a wicket that offered varying bounce and pace.

Against an accurate home attack, the Town struggled for runs in the opening overs which saw them lose Will Mason, skipper Gareth Williams and No.3 Will Rudd cheaply.

Seventeen-year-old Alex Binnie, making his first-team seasonal debut, was then joined by Wood and they gradually turned the tide in a determined fourth-wicket stand before Binnie eventually departed for a valuable 30.

Wood, who had played with patient concentration early in his innings, then gradually began to go for his shots in a further half-century stand with Andy Cox.

In the closing overs Wood, having passed his half-century, suddenly cut loose with some powerful drives and pulls, hammering four fours and a six from one over alone. Although partner Cox fell for 25, Wood went on to reach his century in the last of the 45 overs.

Billy Breen captured an early wicket when Cinderford replied and although the home side kept the score ticking over, an excellent spell of off-spin bowling by Williams (1-14 from his nine overs) put them behind the clock at the halfway stage of their innings.

By then, however, the rain clouds were already gathering. With the home side requiring 78 to win with seven wickets in hand and only 11 overs remaining the rain properly set in and ruled out what looked likely to be close finish.