Gloucester Premier League
St Mary’s OB 34
Cirencester 22

WITH both sides entering the game in the relegation zone, all knew the stakes were high.

In recent weeks, Cirencester have seen green shoots of improvement especially last week against an abrasive Spartans side where the Cotswold side went toe-to-toe with their Gloucester counter parts.

But this time, Cirencester came up short away at the Old Boys.

Director of Rugby Andy Deacon said: “Our fluctuating performance from a growing side shows we are work in progress, but I cant falter the energy and determination from the guys to never give up.

“We need to polish our ability to see out and finish a game and maintain good form for a full 80 minutes and not in patches.

“Our second XV are in a vein of good form with three wins on the bounce from Gloucester sides, which is great.

“Now, with us in a positive league position, we need to maintain and enhance everything, with all players taking part in training to look at game plans and fitness.”

If the early exchanges were a measure the answer to whether Cirencester could bring their physicality to the match was yes.

Ciren started with a blast with great defensive line speed, and good game management whilst in possession.

This control resulted in Ciren centre, Matt Berry, crashing over cutting a great line leaving the defence in his wake to score 0-5.

Of course the home side was not going to lie down easily and hit back straight away with a converted try 7-5.

Again Ciren gained territory and possession, applying great pressure on the home side, which resulted in a penalty kicked by Iwan Thomas.

As soon as Ciren scored the Bristol outfit hit back applying pressure on the away side’s line.

A speculative pass was intercepted by Ciren winger Tom Woodward, who raced a full and impressive 80m to score. Thomas converted 7-15.

The theme though continued with St Mary’s applying pressure especially in the set piece.

With the Ciren line-out malfunctioning, the home side pounced to score two further tries, making the half time score 19-15.

Ciren started the second half without Captain James Renowden and second row Luke Newman; both had to leave the field due to injury.

This put massive pressure on the already creaking Ciren pack, with a home side scoring another try.

There was a brief come back when Iwan Thomas hacked through to score and convert, making the score now 27-22.

As the game entered into the last quarter with the Cirencester forwards tiring, the home side scored two further tries making the final score 34-22.

When the final whistle went, the fine line between euphoria and desperation was stark, and there for all to see as Cirencester licked their wounds after another league defeat this season.

Meanwhile, Cirencester seconds had a great game at home in the Wadworth 6X reserve league winning 19-0 against Spartans seconds.

Cirencester face Barton Hill at the Whiteway on Saturday, kick-off at 2:30pm.