Stroud & District Combination Senior Cup Final

Cirencester 10 Dursley 14

UNDERDOGS Dursley upset the form book by retaining the Stroud & District Cup Final with a 14-10 victory at Painswick RFC over Cirencester, who play a division higher in the Gloucester Premier.

Last season they caused an even bigger shock by beating Stroud.

It soon became apparent that Dursley were in no way overawed by the challenge of the Cotswold side, dominating the scrums and the breakdowns in the early exchanges.

Common to many finals the first half turned into a cagey affair with neither side able to establish any sort of pattern. Ciren were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, without clinically finishing off their opportunities.

With 10 minutes remaining in the half, an interception by Dursley centre AJ Caddick saw him run in from the halfway line to score under the posts, with stand-in captain Grant Boucher – Scott Udal was unavailable – adding the conversion to give Dursley a 7-0 lead.

This kicked Ciren into action with a ‘training ground’ move from the lineout which was finished beautifully by Kieran Kelly. That try brought the half-time score to 7-7.

The second half started as the first finished with Ciren on the attack, and they were finally rewarded with points, when Joe Hammond kicked a penalty to move them in front 10-7.

The Ciren go-to man and man of the match Alex Hammond was performing miracles at the back of the scrum and smashing holes in the Dursley defence as the game progressed.

Time and again Ciren failed to convert the pressure they enjoyed into points, with forward passes and knock-ons when the line was beckoning.

The second half began to get scrappy with two yellow cards, one from each side.

Finally Dursley did get a foothold into the game with a penalty, which was kicked to the corner with five minutes remaining, Safe hands in the lineout and a driving maul saw Cirencester infringe with Dursley being awarded a penalty try and Boucher added the extras from the simple conversion for 14-10.

Again Ciren continued to work hard to try to get something out of the game, but they simply ran out of time.

At the final whistle it was patently clear how much retaining the trophy meant to the Dursley club.

This weekend Cirencester aim to reverse last Saturday’s result when the second teams from both clubs meet in the quarter final of the Stroud & District Junior Cup at The Whiteway.