National Senior Vase Gloucestershire quarter-finals
Cirencester 33 Chipping Sodbury 20

FOLLOWING back-to-back Gloucester Premier League victories, Chipping Sodbury’s hopes were high going into the National Senior Vase Gloucestershire quarter-final away at Cirencester.

However, they were brought down to earth as they went out of the competition.

The travelling supporters were expecting excitement and some running rugby.

Unfortunately for the faithful, it was Cirencester who provided the running rugby while Sodbury served up dropped passes and mistakes littered the game.

This contributed to the Sods rushing around in defence which ultimately exhausted them against the sustained attack of the home side.

The leading tacklers were Pete Butcher and his second row partner Niall Kincaid.

Butcher also carried the ball well throughout the game.

The ever reliable Phil Player also made a notable attacking contribution but was later concussed and had to come off the pitch which was a blow to Chipping Sodbury.

Dan Bradley’s kicking from hand was like the sweetest poetry as he punished Cirencester both in attack and from penalties.

Jon Cook stroked over two penalties before half time as Sodbury actually enjoyed a 5-6 lead for five minutes.

The amount of penalties that Sodbury coughed up only compounded their struggles. Cirencester pounced on these clusters and produced two quick tries before half-time.

Sodbury’s woes continued at the start of the second half.

The ball did not go ten metres so there was a scrum on half way.

The try which was conceded was all the more powerful for the fact there were five missed tackles.

Sodbury now rallied and started to string some phases together.

The scrum did its job and the lineout continued to provide.

Each Sodbury player maintained their effort in the tackle and carried the ball with real venom.

They were now stringing together multiple rucks, which were expertly cleared out by the indestructible Al Keeping.

When Sodbury were awarded a scrum five metres out from the home try line, the subsequent pick-up from the number eight was given to Joe Horton, who picked a surprisingly mazy path to the line.

In scoring next to the posts, he made the conversion simple for Cook.

Despite all Sodbury’s industry, the amount of penalties broke up the game as Cirencester took no fewer than five kicks at goal.

They didn’t get them all but two were on the halfway line.

As the game was close to the end, Sodbury rallied once more and bludgeoned their way into the host’s 22.

There were multiple phases and clever passing, Horton was involved twice, as was Bradley. The eventual try was touched down by Captain Matt Cook, who received the ball ten metres out.

He stepped the first tackler and had the power to drag two men over with him. J.Cook once more coolly improved it.

Sodbury were suitably deflated at the final whistle. They already possess determination and passion so a few tweaks during training should have the team purring again.