Norton 31-Cainscross 13

CAINSCROSS travelled to their old rivals Norton and came up against a well drilled and motivated side.

The visitors were on the back foot from the start with Norton working their phase play superbly and Cainy losing the tenacious Mudway early on.

With wave after wave of attack Cainscross’ normal pressing defence was found lacking and they leaked their first try.

Norton were buoyed by their early success and turned the screw with another short range try from close range pick and go.

With numerous scrums the game became quite patchy and neither side could get their respective game plans going, not helped by a raft of changes from both sides.

Finally Cainscross managed to release Maller who palmed off two would be tacklers and evaded the full back to go under the posts.

The second half ended with play inexplicably being brought back as Balchin was about to go over in the corner and the scores at 14-7.

Cainscross came out determined to show the style of the play that had been so successful and for 10 minutes after the interval, produced passages of play and defence that placed their opposition under pressure, resulting in the evergreen Ponsford going over in the corner after a break, down the short side.

Norton were not done and hit back almost immediately to take the game to 19 to 10.

Cainscross pressed back and an infringement just beyond the 10 metre line saw the returning Stickler step up and strike the ball sweetly and it bounced off the crossbar and over.

This spurred on the home side and saw them re-introduce a number of players and start to play their forward orientated style, coming hard around the corner.

Although the defence was determined from O Dowd and his back row colleagues Norton went over for two more tries.

It was a frustrating day as Cainscross as they felt they had more to offer and showed this at times but it was not to be.

However there is no shame in losing to a well drilled side and it will help them reflect on how they want to play.

Cainscross welcome old rivals Painswick in the league this Saturday for the first time in nearly 20 years and they will be hoping for a bumper crowd at Victory Park. Kick off is at 2.30pm.