Interceptions are the key as Cirencester open with scrappy win
CIRENCESTER started the 2019/20 campaign with a 20-6 win over Tewkesbury, having enjoyed a successful pre-season.
Tewkesbury, who have in recent times enjoyed some success notably gaining promotion to Gloucester One, started well, enjoying a lot of possession and making the home side work hard in defence.
Tewkesbury were rewarded for their pressure with two penalties, taking a six-point lead.
Cirencester, when in possession, looked dangerous but could never keep the ball long enough to hurt the away side.
Ciren did though defend well throughout the game with a hard pressing defensive line.
This method resulted in two interception tries, surprisingly with Ciren tight head prop Darren Stephens the first to intercept and he raced unchallenged between the posts to score, Mike Howells adding the conversation.
As the game wore on both sides huffed and puffed to try and fine some fluidity, which by and large neither side achieved.
It was left to powerful centre Ben Ramsey who once again latched onto to a poor Tewkesbury pass to race away to score, making it 14-6 at halftime.
The game was desperate for one side to grasp it by scruff of the neck, which in truth did not happen,
Ciren’s defence was solid with man of the match Ryan Brookes playing havoc at the breakdowns, turning the ball over several times, at crucial moments.
As the game moved into the latter stages Tewkesbury started to wilt which was understandable in the heat and all the effort they had put into the game.
This allowed Howells to kick two more penalties making the game safe.
Cirencester will be very happy to gain their first victory of their league season, but also realise they have with a bit of fine tuning to do before the next week’s game at home against Dursley.
Elsewhere, Stow were 30-17 winners at Didcot in Southern Counties North, and Cheltenham won 35-27 over Spartans in Western Counties North.
Cheltenham North won 34-0 against Whitehall in Gloucestershire Premier.
Ben Crocker opened the scoring with a try converted by Sila Ulugia and after they scored again to make it 12-0, Ulugia scored and converted his own try.
Kaminieli Nakove was next to go over as North led 24-0 at half-time and in the second half Sam Allen completed the scoring with a try double.
Cheltenham Saracens edged out St Mary’s Old Boys 27-25 and Chosen Hill thumped Ross-on-wye 72-15.
Smiths drew 20-20 in Gloucestershire One with newlypromoted Fairford.
In Division Two North, Bredon Star started with a 33-0 win over Westbury-on-severn and Painswick lost 40-5 to Brockworth.