Dursley Rugby Football Club
Dursley 1st XV - Cup Champions 2011
11th May 2011
After finishing the season mid table in their own league the Combination Cup Final saw Dursley face up to Cirencester who currently play two leagues above them. Not to be daunted by the task the young squad, with an average age of under 21, played their best game of season to outclass the more experienced opponents with dogged determination and wide expansive play (all that touch rugby training paid off!).
With just two minutes played from an early foray into the Cirencester 22 the ball was spun out wide for winger Gareth Udal to touchdown in the corner for an unconverted try. Dursley were strong from the restart and with good work from the forwards driving the ball on 5 metres Dursley were unfortunate to lose the ball with a knock on. Dursley continued to dominate in the line out with precision throw ins from hooker Alex Budd and some strong jumping by Number 8 Tom Stevens, back row Simon Camm and Olli Steel. With 10 minutes played from a break set up by Camm saw G Udal bundled into touch 10 metres out. The forwards worked well with several pick and drives from George Sheldon, Scott Udal, Jake Martin and Budd with second row Graham Dakin crossing to score close to the posts with 16 minutes gone and a simple conversion for fly half Grant Boucher brought the score line to 12-0. From the restart Cirencester made there first venture into the Dursley 22 and were awarded a penalty for their efforts which was missed in the strong wind. Dakin, at 25 was the oldest Dursley player on the pitch, was forced to leave the field through injury to be replaced by Harry Lea who immediately made an impact. Stevens showed strength when stealing the ball from a Cirencester drive and full back James Sheldon looked solid under the high ball. Ciren upped the pressure but their drive for the line was thwarted by excellent defence from Dursley who held up the try attempt. A well placed kick into space by centre Tom Broomfield but Dursley back in the Cirencester red zone. The attacking Dursley pack performed perfectly to turnover a Ciren scrum on the 5 metre line and looked set to add another score but lost it forward. Following another dominant scrum by Dursley and a lovely kick by scrum half Jack Pearce and strong chase by Lea saw Martin break and was unlucky to be tackled just short of the try line leaving the half time score an impressive 12-0.
At the start of the second half Boucher made a lovely return into space and a strong cover tackle by winger Joe Jepps averted a try scoring chance. From the line out Dursley spread the ball along the back line and a break by flanker Steel that looked certain for a try was judged a forward pass. Strong tackling by Boucher and Steel disrupted the Cirencester game plan but with 5 minutes played Dursley were reprieved when Steel stole the ball as the Ciren player dived for the line. On the 50 minute mark Martin was replaced by Ben Brinkworth with S Udal moving to second row and at this point Ciren added their first points following a penalty with a try driven over from a line out and an excellent conversion from the touchline closing the gap to 12-7. Four minutes later Dursley edged further ahead with a simple penalty in front of the posts from Boucher. Ciren seemed to have little reply to the varied options adopted by scrum half Pearce and the speed in the tackle by Steel. Midway through the half Broomfield was unlucky to be stopped by a crunching tackle when a lovely line supported by inside centre Joe Atkins and full back James Sheldon looked set to add further points. With 15 minutes left to play Dursley were awarded another penalty for hands in the ruck which Boucher punished by adding a further 3 points and the scoreline 18-7. Cirencester called on all of their experience and following sustained pressure scored a converted try on the 70 minute mark closing the gap to 18-14. Dursley chose this point to replace Atkins in the centre with Tom Jepps and Budd at hooker by Camm with Dan Gabb joining the second row. The final 5 minutes of play were frantic by both teams and a huge tackle into touch by J Jepps brought the game to a close with the final score 18-14.