Cents went to Witney on Saturday and played out a rare draw at the Oxfordshire side.Cents and Witney are no strangers to one another after playing one another on numerous occasions over the years apart from a long period due to being in different leagues.The fixtures have always been hard fought but fair games played in the right spirit and Saturdays match was no different.
The match was a game of two halves with Cents dominating the first half after a shaky start and Witney having the stronger second half.Witney opened the scoring early in the match when they ran back a break down in a Cents attacking move and this score was converted.Not long after Cents replied with an unconverted try from Rob Sully and Witney then converted a penalty for a 10-5 lead after the first 10-15 minutes.
It was then that Cents dominated the rest of the first half with some lovely attacking rugby through their forwards and backs which had the home side defending desperately.Cents pack were in control and in the tight the away side pushed the home side all over the place and took some scrums against the head. Cents line out was working well and the away side competed well in the loose.
During this time on top Cents scored two tries,one a penalty try and the other by centre Ryan Townsend and at the break the away side led 17-10 being well worth their slender lead.Cents had also managed to create lots of scoring chances but failed to take their chances and this could have proved costly.
The half time break seemed to knock the momentum out of Cents and Witney then went on to take control of the match for long periods of the second half although they continued to struggle in the tight.Witney scored not long after the break when they scored a converted try following a mistake by Cents.Cents then had to defend well for the rest of the half although they had their moments to break the dead lock and there was no further score in the second half.
The final score was 17-17 a rare draw for Cents and the result was perhaps a fair result for the two sides who certainly put a lot of effort and skill into the match.Witney are a good side and as usual we were looked after by an hospitable club with good facilities and we wish them and Banbury well in the Oxfordshire cup final being played between them on Thursday night.
As for Cents next week we play Grove away in our re-arranged match and it is hoped that we have our unavailable 5 backs and 2 forwards available for selection this week especially with the Combination cup starting next week.This is the second week on the trott when we have had half a side missing.