Painswick 31

Minchinhampton 19

PAINSWICK stole the honours with a hard fought win in an excellent game to start the new year, writes Richard Barnard.

Playing up the slope Painswick started well and astute kicking from half-backs George Macduff and Tom Powell backed up by good chasing led to Macduff scuttling over under the posts with Powell adding the conversion.

Minchinhampton then applied pressure with some powerful scrummaging, but somehow the Painswick defence held firm although lack of patience from the visitors in the set-piece did not help their cause.

Eventually, Painswick turned the ball over and following a break from full-back Nathan Evans, some superb handling led to pacy winger Matt Higgins scoring under the posts with Powell again adding the extras.

The Minchinhampton forward power eventually told and at the end of the first-half Matt Austin forced his way over for a try converted by Jake Muskett.

Painswick hit back early in the second-half when no 8 Shaun Jeffries broke through three tackles to score an outstanding solo try.

Centre James Harber then burst through to secure the bonus point try after a superb turn over and offload from Matt Evans.

Minchinhampton again used their strong scrum to allow Tom Quainton to touch down under the posts with Tim E Lee converting.

Painswick clinched victory when the ever alert Macduff intercepted and raced in under the posts with Powell adding the conversion. Minchinhampton scored a late consolation try with a strong lineout drive. Painswick's strong running backs won the day with the Higgins and Evans brothers a constant threat, over the dominating Minchinhampton scrum and lineout. Macduff and Powell controlled the game well at half back and back rowers Olly Hall, man-of-the-match, Shaun Jeffries and hooker Tom Coombs dominated the breakdown and put in countless tackles to subdue the visitors. Both teams should take credit for a game played in excellent and well refereed.