Bill Adams Cup Final

Dursley III 32

Minchinhampton Rams 10

MINCHINHAMPTON Rams played some of their finest rugby of the season but it was not enough to clinch the Bill Adams Cup after a 32-10 defeat to Dursley III at Painswick RFC.

The game kicked off with the Rams defending the lower end of Painswick's sloping pitch and Dursley set about playing the game at the bottom of this slope close to the Rams try line.

Initially their attacks were fruitless, with stout Minch defence repelling a wave of pressure, but inevitably the breakthrough came, following a line out and a couple of misplaced tackles.

Frustrating as the mistakes were, Minch played some great passing rugby for the remainder of the half, with Ed Wright and others also defending stoically.

Wainwright's kicks opened up space for Minch in the second period and the pack were now getting into top gear.

'Ram of the Match' Chris Brookman found holes in the Dursley defence like a moth chewing its way through a set of grandma's curtains. His lines, supported by Clint Davis, Ian French and Chris Huggins led to prolonged Rams pressure resulting in a try for Fraser Smith.

From the restart however, the Rams were found out of position as Dursley helped themselves to two quick tries to give them some breathing space.

Minch retained hope and prompted by replacement stand-off Jonty Messer the back line were making inroads.

Despite the heroic efforts of Sam Knight, Mike Evans and Dave 'Socks' Maller the pack could get no closer than the five-metre line.

Then Dursley put the game to bed with two further tries with their number 10 completing his hat-trick.

Nevertheless, it was Minch who played out the final stages looking like the team deserving of a trophy. Champagne ruck and maul rugby, with Charlie Evans devastating at the breakdown, opened space for full back Shane Trigg to rush through and score the game's last try which salvaged some pride to those in green, black and white.

The 2015-16 season may not have ended with a trophy for the Rams, but this team can hold their heads high in the knowledge they punched well above their weight on many occasions.

With the club's Colts producing so much talent, which has fed the Rams and first XV the future looks bright.