Cirencester 69 Fairford 10.

CIRENCESTER emphatically won the Stroud and District Combination Senior Cup against Fairford on Saturday.

Although, on league form, Fairford were perhaps favourites, Cirencester started in top gear.

An early scrummage allowed them to demonstrate their upper hand in the set piece - something Fairford appeared not to have counted on - and the ball was moved wide for an early score by Ed Alderman.

A further three tries for Cirencester's pacy backs,and almost total possession lead to a one-sided first 20 minutes.

Although Fairford appeared to lack the pace and precision required to counter Ciren, they stuck to their task ably. With Ciren in control of the game Fairford got frustrated - an exchange of punches between the Fairford hooker and Ciren No 8 saw both teams reduced to 14 men for the last 10 minutes of the half Ciren had the game in the bag by half-time but, in spite of well chosen words from team manager, Andy Thompson, they didn't get things their own way. Unforced errors and too many penalties allowed Fairford both control of the ball and field position - both of which they used to good effect as, firstly Ciren conceded a penalty and secondly, a converted try.

Fairford's rally was brief as Cirencester pulled themselves together and started to throw the ball around. The tries started to come thick and fast - all the backs and backs' replacements scored at least once bar Phil Farrow who, working with good ball from James Fisher, controlled the backline to great effect.

Ciren's forwards weren't overly tested but Sullivan, playing his final game for Ciren, and Wood dominated the lineout and open side Luke Fisher appeared to be at every break down.

Coach Hammett has many positives to take from his three months in charge, but he is not sitting back to celebrate - pre-season training starts in six week's time!