FAIRFORD Rugby Club will play at the highest level in their history after they secured promotion on Saturday with an 11-10 play-off win over Bream at Coln House.

As a result of finishing second in their respective Gloucestershire Division 2 North and South league, last Saturday saw a remarkably close game with the prize of promotion to Division 1.

With home advantage, Fairford tried early on to banish the memories of a December Level 10 semi-final where the travelling Bream team secured a 31-12 victory over the home side.

Bream started the game brightly and Fairford were very much on the back foot conceding a converted try after seven minutes.

The largest crowd ever seen at Coln House encouraged Fairford to start playing to their strengths.

After a couple of excellent line breaks, Mike Wrona powered into the corner much to the delight of the home crowd to narrow the gap to 7-5 in Bream’s favour.

The visitors extended their advantage to five points with a penalty, before centre Jake Summers capitalised on sustained pressure to slot his first penalty of the afternoon to make it 10-8 going into the break.

After half time, a very tense game became even more nail biting with both sides coming very close.

Arguably, the turning point of the game came when Fairford backrower Tom Cohoon got sin binned for a late tackle on the Bream fly-half.

Despite being a man down, Fairford took advantage of the situation with Summers keeping his cool to dissect the posts from distance with the successful penalty edging the scoreline to 11-10.

Fairford then controversially had a try disallowed due to an intervention by the touch judge, but in a nervous finish it didn’t matter in the end and Fairford secured their place in Gloucester Division 1 for the first time in their history.

Fairford now have an opportunity to win a double with the Stroud Combination Junior Cup final at Cirencester on Saturday.