Cirencester’s 1st XI visited Stroud in another “must win” relegation battle.

Cirencester started strongly, applying pressure high up the pitch. After 15 minutes the ball was worked through from midfield and played from the left to Jon Tirrill who turned his marker running the ball around the edge of the circle and firing a well-connected strike from the right that deflected into the net off a defender’s stick.

Ten minutes later, after a goal-mouth scrap a Cirencester shot was saved illegally and Rob Carmichael converted the resulting penalty flick.

Starting the 2nd half 2-0, Cirencester continued to apply pressure and won a series of short corners but failed to capitalise.

Stroud dug deep and after 45 minutes got one goal back. As the game grew more tense, tackling became wilder and with 10 minutes remaining Stroud scored from a penalty corner to level the score.

Captain Jamie Blackburn said: “Overall, it was a solid performance, but it is always disappointing not to keep the lead and to surrender much needed league points. However, I’m extremely proud of the team’s performance since the Christmas break.”

The 2nd XI have failed to deliver consistent performances but this weekend produced a mature and clinical game applying constant pressure on the visiting Hereford side.

The only goal of the half came from a drilled short corner by centre midfield George Pope.

The slender 1-0 lead at half time didn't reflect the balance of play but Cirencester continued to move the ball well with hard work from strikers Robbie Webster and Zack Chambers, with Owen Harrison putting in an industrious performance.

The second goal was a “father and son” act as dad, as Will Harrison slid a pass to son Owen whose inch perfect return to dad was cracked into the net.

Ben McIntyre slotted into left midfield on his debut, using his pace and work-rate to undo Hereford attacks down the right - and with at least five shots on target that were only denied by some superb keeping in the second half, and a post in the first. The third goal came from a miss-hit penalty corner strike from Pope that was deftly lifted into the net by Jason Muir.

The fourth and final goal was a well worked short corner 1-2 routine between Pope and Harrison senior with Pope slapping in his second to seal the win.

Cirencester’s 3rd XI hosted 5th place Abergavenny and found themselves under early pressure from the visitors.

Having kept attacks at bay, Cirencester’s confidence grew with good work down the flanks with Jez Hicks and Ben Stevens combining well. A series of penalty corners were defended well with Abergavenny’s keeper making vital saves.

In the second half, Ben Stevens came close from a penalty corner after a switch from Alex Hicks that was hit into the net. However, the goal was disallowed as deemed too high. Cirencester’s outstanding junior keeper Luke Tappin had little to do and whilst all three points were possible, the draw leaves Cirencester’s 3rd XI will a chance to avoid relegation. Last minute injuries left a depleted 10-man 4th XI facing a powerful Cleevillians side. However, as can often happen, the 10-man visiting Cirencester all played a committed game, with defender Paul Craven outstanding. The side were unable to apply offensive pressure and lost the game 3-0.