Stroud Combination Cup Final

Dursley 42

Cirencester 22

By Ian Perrett

DURSLEY lifted the Stroud Combination Cup for a record-breaking fifth time on the bounce, putting Cirencester to the sword at Painswick RFC.

In conditions more suited to leather on willow, the large crowd saw Dursley take early control of the game as their forwards encamped themselves in Cirencester’s 22. After several phases of play Cirencester were penalised for handling in a ruck six minutes into the game, Jack Pinker stepped forward to give Dursley a 3-0 lead.

This pressure continued and following a Dursley knock on Cirencester found themselves with the feed for a 5-metre scrum, as the ball went in Dursley’s awesome pack pushed a desperate Cirencester eight back over their own try line allowing Bailey to give Dursley an 8-0 lead. Cirencester had a chance to get on the score sheet following the award of a penalty in front of the posts however a kick to the corner was defended well at the lineout. Dursley were awarded a penalty after 27 minutes which Jack Pinker converted to extend the lead to 11-0.

Cirencester knew they had to respond to the relentless pressure Dursley were exerting which they duly did in the 34th minute when some lose play by Dursley allowed the ball to be ripped and quickly passed along the line to the winger who crossed in the corner, the conversion was missed. On half time Cirencester took the lead when again Dursley found it easier to give passion away than clear their lines, the winger once again crossing in the corner, a fine conversion from the touch line gave Cirencester a half-time lead of 12-11.

The lead was only briefly held as within two minutes of the second-half a great take off the top of a lineout by the ever-consistent Hayward saw Jack Pinker dart past two defenders and release the backs allowing Goodison to cross the whitewash. Dursley extended their lead 15 minutes later when a lineout on Cirencester’s 22 was taken down into a maul where the unstoppable Dursley pack marched forward for Crosswell to score, Pinker added the two points. Cirencester pulled three points back with a penalty from 30 meters.

On 62 minutes another take of the top of a lineout and a crab across the pitch saw an all in Dursley drive for Cowley to grab a try, Jack Pinker took the score to Dursley 30 Cirencester 15. Dursley were welcoming back several injured players and to a man they took themselves through the pain barrier using a combination of adrenalin and desire none more so than Plumridge. Cirencester scored again when a cross filed kick found the winger who somehow remained in field to score in the corner, once again a very difficult conversion was taken by the number 10.

From the restart Dursley ran the ball back via the backline of Pinker, Cole, Caddick, however a deliberate knock-on which prevented Powell from receiving a try scoring pass, resulted in a penalty in front of the posts and a yellow card for the number 3. Pinker stepped up and dragged his kick wide to the left, Dursley turned and faced up for the 22 restart which went as far as the halfway line finding the waiting hands of Pinker, who danced through the on coming Cirencester team and over for the try of the match which he duly converted.

Dursley were not finished as with the final play of the match following a lineout once more the forwards proved just why they have been the outstanding pack in the league this season as they charged over from the 22 for Crosswell to grab his second try, and record a final score of Dursley 42 Cirencester 22