Old Cents needed to win todays match in order to get their season back on track and halt a three match losing streak.They did
so with a gutsy display against a strong Barnstaple side looking to extend their fine performances over their last couple of outings.
Last seasons corresponding fixture was a close affair with Barnstaple taking the spoils after Cents gave away a couple of interception tries and todays match was no different.Despite the wetness and boggy nature of Old Cents pitch,both sides gave a committed performance which was full of passion and skill.
Barnstaple's big pack put Cents scrum under a lot of pressure throughout the match and also had the edge in the lineout, however the home side competed well in the rucks and mauls plus they defended very well throughout the game.The main difference between the two sides was that Cents scored points whenever they got into the red zone and Barnstaple did not despite their possession and territorial advantage.
Cents led 19-10 at the break through a Liam Hemming try plus one conversion and four penalty kicks converted by Liam,Barnstaple scored two unconverted tries.During the first half Barnstaple had the majority of the ball but Cents defence was very good apart from two lapses.
The second half was more of the same,with Barnstaple again enjoying a fair amount of possession but only scoring a penalty try for their efforts,However, Cents showed how deadly they were in the red zone as they scored a further 14 points through Liam Hemming when he scored a second try and converted a further three penalties.Liam's personal tally for the match was all Cents 33 points which could be a record for the club.
Coach Lee fortey was well leased with the teams performance as the team were up against a big side who dominated possession for fair chunks of the match.We held firm and took our chances when they came in a tight match played by two committed sides.
Cents are still unable to field their best side at the moment and are carrying at least 4/5players missing each week for various reasons.The club are reaping the benefits of a strong playing squad this season.Cents next match is against high flying Brixham at home next week and last season Cents beat them home and away so they should not think they will have an easy match in Gloucester.