Stroud Combination Junior Plate Final

Cirencester II 25 Minchinhampton 10

A DOMINANT second half display saw Cirencester seconds beat local rivals Minchinhampton 25-10 to lift the Stroud Combination Junior Plate.

Ciren showed a sense of urgency from the outset. Josh Woodward kicked an early penalty to lead 3-0 and five minutes later a lineout five metres out allowed the home pack to show what they could offer.

A great take from James Renowden set the platform for a drive infield before scrum half Tom Edwards released Rob Field down the blind side to finish the move with a big swan dive.

Fifteen minutes in and the big Minch forwards awoke with some strong carries.

One such advance resulted in a lazy penalty from Gareth Owen (not rolling away) and the Minch fly half stepped up to open their scoring.

The big carries and hits continued to come in but there were no real scoring opportunities until a late Minch penalty drifted wide of the posts.

Ciren coaches Matt Carter and Dave Shrimpton galvanised their troops at the interval. The dominant lineout platform was set again and the ball moved through captain Adam Barker and then Barrie Davies before Woodward jinked past two would-be defenders to finish in the corner; his own conversion took the score to 15-3.

Shortly afterwards a piece of magic saw Ciren extend their lead.

Alex “Popeye” Buchalik picked up from the base of the scrum, tempted the flanker and scrum half into the tackle, and then fired the ball out the back door for scrum half Edwards to canter unopposed over in the corner from halfway.

Once again Minch answered with carry after carry but resolute Ciren defence answered every question.

Up stepped Ruvern Weir with a monster hit on the Minch scrum half who dropped the ball, only for it to be gathered up and moved to Davies and he ran in Cirencester's final score.

To their credit Minchinhampton battled to the end, and with five minutes left to play the Cirencester defence was eventually breached by the replacement second row to leave the full time score at 25-10.

MoM: Josh Woodward.