Cents were made to work hard for their latest victory and maintain their unbeaten home record this season.Witney who were on a five match unbeaten run were difficult opponents and showed why they were unbeaten in five.This was a very entertaining match played by two sides who wanted to play fast open rugby plus it was physical in the sense that both had great defences that gave very little away.The main difference between the sides was that Cents took their few chances and Witney did not.
The game started at a fast pace and it was kept up during the match with Cents on top for the first 20-25 minutes.The home side were the first to score when Wayne Mulhern converted a penalty on 8 minutes.During this period Cents should have had at least two tries but wasted their chances with over laps ignored and this was to prove costly.Usually on previous visits Witney would have been in a losing position after the opening quarter but their great defence kept Cents at bay for a change and by half time they led 3-5 when they scored an unconverted try in the last 10 minutes of the half. Cents had been in total control for the first 25 minutes and Witney in total control for the next 15 minutes.
Playing with the slope in the second half the home side knew they would have to up their game and regain some control, with a change at no8 they did just that.After 50 minutes replacement no8 Lewis Cameron crashed over for a try after a run of 20 metres near the visitors posts and Wayne Mulhern converted for a 10-5 led to the home side.With Cents starting to dominate for a period they increased their lead when replacement outside half Craig Holder converted a further penalty on 60minutes to take the score to 13-5 to the home side .However, Witney were still very much in the game forcing Cents back even though the home side were forcing the home side to defend in strength as well.
This was a classic end to end match with both defences to the fore and few scoring opportunities available.In the cold conditions both sides were a credit to their clubs.Cents were next to score and sealed the match when acting team capt Nathan Stroud crashed over after a series of drives on the visitors line.The try went unconverted for a score line of 18-5 to the home side.
Witney had the final say in the match when on the stroke of full time they scored a converted try and this earned them a losing bonus point,no more than what they deserved for their efforts in making this a fine match to watch.
As said before this a great match to watch with both sides looking too play open end to end rugby and played in the right spirit.Cents now move on to their next home match when they play local rivals plus league leaders Old Pats and this should be an interesting match.