Stroud Combination Junior Plate Final

Cainscross 17

Cirencester II 16

CIRENCESTER travelled to Painswick RFC on Saturday with a side boasting both youth and experience – at least four were over 50 – and came within minutes of returning with the Stroud Combination Junior Plate.

The early stages of the game saw Cainscross pressing hard and putting the Cirencester team under pressure which led to an early score from Lee Pearse.

From the restart the Cirencester side started to play rugby in the opposition half and a series of rolling mauls from the forwards saw the ball spun to the midfield where Rhys Owen crashed through a number of tacklers before going over the line to score.

Cainscross were rewarded for their efforts when Kieran Marshall picked up a loose kick on his own 10-metre line before jinking right through the Ciren defence to score under the posts; Pearse hit the conversion.

Ciren kicked a penalty to make the half-time score 12-8 to Cainscross, but the second half saw Cirencester raise their game and camp in the opposition half.

They failed to build the unassailable lead their play deserved thanks to poor kicking, but a penalty and an unconverted try did give them a 16-12 lead into the final minutes.

However, a clearance upfield was collected by Adam Carter who went on a mazy run leaving Cirencester players in his wake.

Luke Newman hit him hard with a last-ditch tackle – seriously injuring himself in the process – and was unable to stop the match-winning try.

A special mention must be made to all the generations playing for Ciren: three Owens (father Neil and his sons Gareth and Rhys), two Newmans (father John and son Luke) and two Doyles (father Dave and son Archie) all taking the field in what was the last competitive game of Neil Owen’s long and distinguished 36-year playing career which comes to end this season at the age 52.