Gloucester Old Boys 34, Cirencester 31

ON A bright but bitterly cold day, Cirencester travelled to Horton Road, home of Gloucester Old Boys.

The men from the Cotswolds started at a blistering pace asking questions of the home defence. Under such pressure the OB were penalised with Iwan Thomas opening the score with a penalty kick 0-3.

The away side were growing in confidence and continued to play with great energy, retaining the ball and creating holes in the home side defence; Cirencester Matt Berry crashing over to make the score 0-8, conversion missed. Returning from injury Alex Hammond and James Fisher made their presence felt.

The Ciren side was further ignited into action and poured forward, with a break held up on the line, whereby skipper James Renowden picked up from the resulting ruck and bulldozed his way over, making the score 0-13.

This second try produced an effort from the home side, which resulted in a try after some weak tackling from Ciren; 7-13.

But Ciren would not lie down and hit back seeing an Old Boy’s pass intercepted by their maverick fly half Iwan Thomas who scored under the home side posts after a 70m dash to the line to gain the try 7-20.

This score saw the Old Boys spark into action, helped again by some sloppy Ciren defence with two tries that were both converted; remarkably they went into half time 21-20 up.

Could Ciren stop the momentum from the home side? They started well with another Thomas penalty 21-23. This was again countered by two Old Boys tries taking the game somewhat away from Ciren at 31-23.

But with still 20 minutes to go the men from the Whiteway had time to gain victory. The comeback started with another Thomas penalty 31-26, the home cancelled this out with a penalty of their own 34-26. Ciren countered from deep through Keiran Stubley, Zeb Waite, and a great move was finished off by Adam Harrison making the score 34-31.

As much as Ciren pushed they could not get the decisive score to gain the victory, but the result ensured Ciren gained 2 bonus points which they very much deserved.

A special mention must be given to former Colt, Sean Beech, who made his 1XV debut in the front row, and played his heart out.

Unfortunately there was a late cry off for the 2XV from Dursley 2s who could not raise a side.