Stroud Junior Combination Cup Dursley United 12 Wotton-under-Edge 7

DURSLEY UNITED narrowly retained the Junior Combination Cup in a tense derby match at Stroud Rugby Club on Sunday.

Wotton and Dursley were level pegging for all but six of the first 70 minutes but then Lorne Ball touched down in the corner for the cup-winning score.

The first half was a real war of attrition and failed to yield any points as defence remained on top of some unimaginative attacking.

United's Rich Brookes was sin-binned inside five minutes but Wotton did not make the most of their man advantage, Rob Marlow seeing a penalty attempt come up short.

The odd chance came at both ends but Tom Lister coughed up possession near the Wotton line, while the referee prevented Andy Wytchard from touching down for the Men In Black after Dursley full-back Joe Bilous was tackled without the ball.

Marlow then hooked a penalty wide from in front of the posts before Dursley wasted a glorious chance at the other end when the ball was dropped in the centres with an overlap out wide.

Both sides excelled in the second half and Wotton deservedly took the lead after 51 minutes.

They had already seen a dropped pass and a Marlow fumble over the line deny them twice by the time they finally made it over the whitewash.

The disallowed Marlow effort led to a Dursley scrum that was taken against the head and fly-half Ed Jones burrowed over from close range.

Marlow converted with ease to make it 7-0 to the Men In Black.

United flanker Simon Lane was in the sin-bin at the time and Wotton's more powerful pack was threatening to dominate proceedings.

However, Dursley responded magnificently, spreading the ball from right to left in the 57th minute for flanker Judd Martin to break away, sidestep the full-back and score under the posts. Rich Oldham converted to make it 7-7.

The decisive score arrived ten minutes from time.

Dursley pinched a Wotton lineout on the right and moved the ball quickly left.

Lane, having moved to full-back, made the extra man in the line and he delayed his pass perfectly to give Ball a run to the corner.

Oldham hit the far post with the difficult conversion to give Wotton a chance but United held off their desperate late pressure to secure the cup once more.