Todays Cents match day squad were made to work hard for their latest pre-season victory over local rivals Widden old boys.Cents had not played Widden for a few seasons and their visitors worked hard to contain the home side.Cents had 23 players for todays match with 18 not available for the last of the pre-season matches,they only had 9 backs for the match which was split into 4 x 20 minutes sessions.Cents mixed up their selections for the match and gave everybody a good run out.
Widden were good opposition and gave the Cents squad a good work out, they moved the ball from everywhere and defended well when the home side put them under pressure.The match was also played in the right spirit with both sides looking to play open rugby in good weather conditions.
Widden led 0-7 after the first quarter when they pounced on a loose lineout throw near the home sides line.Cents led after the second quarter 19-7 when they scored three tries through Harry Preece,Craig Ballinger and Sol Farrer.Harry Preece and Sol Farrer converted two of the tries and Cents were well worth their led at Half time.
Cents led 24-14 at the end of the third period when Widden scored a converted try and Cents replied with an unconverted try by George Bromage.Cents in the final quarter scored their last try through George Bromage,this was converted well by Harry Preece and Widden scored an unconverted try on the final whistle for a final score line of 31-19 to the home side.
Cents were well pleased with the way this last pre-season match went with many squad members getting a run out and over the three pre-season matches as well.However, Cents have not played what many would consider to be their strongest side over the games and this is because the players have not been available for one reason or another. Each of the trial matches have seen Cents short of a raft of potential players for first team places and it will be interesting what the team for Wootton match will be.On the plus side many of the first team fringe players have had their chance to stake a place in the First's first team match of the season.
Cents have recruited a number of players in the close season and they all have given good accounts of themselves,namely
Sol Farrer,George Bromage,Owen Chandler(all 17),Ashley Kocerhan,Jack Rowe,Tim Willcox and James Knight.Olly Cooper and Ben Preece have resigned after stints away from the club.Cents are also pursuing other new player options as well.