Old Cents were made to work hard for this latest victory against a well organised Witney side.Cents used to play Witney on a regular basis before the advent of leagues and the encounters were always close and hard fought.This match proved to no different and the crowd were treated to an entertaining match played in the right spirit.Witney were a big powerful side and they came to play.
Cents dominated the early exchanges when their fast paced style of play had Witney on the ropes.However,Witney weathered the early storm although Cents missed several tries scoring chances when overlaps were not taken advantage of.Witney's defence held out but in the 13th Minute Rob Pinkney powered over after Cents had put together several phases of play that spanned the length of the field.Liam Hemming Converted the try from a wide angle.
After this try Witney settled into the match and through their big forwards and lively backs they took the game to Old Cents.However the Cents were up to the task and never let the away side score with some strong defence.Cents scored again on 28 mins when Liam Hemming used his searing pace to break out of defence and run 60 metres to score a great solo try and he also converted his own try to give Cents a 14-0 lead on the half hour mark.
At this stage Old Cents were beginning to get on top of the hard working Witney side,but an error by the home side allowed their visitors back into the match.The lively Witney scrumhalf scored an interception try under the posts from a telegraphed home pass as Cents were trying to break out for another attack.This try was converted and Witney were in the match at 14-7 going into half time.
Cents had the edge at half time with their forwards taking the game to Witney's big forwards in all areas of the field. Cents backs were also creating things but the Witney defence had held firm and Cents had to be on their guard because their visitors also tried to play.
Cents started the second half strongly and effectively won the match with a three try salvo in the first 15 mins of the half.Cents scored tries through Alex Maton,Liam Hemming and Nathan Stroud.Liam Hemming converted two of the tries and Cents led 33-7 going into the last 20 mins.
At this stage a lot of sides might have caved in as Cents went in for the kill,however Witney found some fighting spirit and took the match to the home side when they could.Their efforts were rewarded 10 mins from time when their winger completed a series of attacking phases near Old Cents try line.The try was well converted by their flyhalf from wide out and the score was 33-14 to Cents and this is how the match ended.
This was a good match to watch as both sides tried to play entertaining rugby and Witney provided a stiff test for a Cents side missing up to 5 regular starters.However, Cents now have a big squad of players and can
adapt to changes better than in the past.Today's visitors will cause a lot of problems to the other sides in the league and Cents can now look forward to their visit to Bracknell for a top of the table clash.Old Cents man of the match went to prop Scott Fritchley who was prominent all over the park and not many props have the ball handling plus tackling ability of a back like Scott does.