Cents close in on play off place.
By Stan Fritchley
Cents win hard fought match at Wotton Bassett.
Cents moved a step closer to securing the play off place for promotion to the South West Premier league with a hard fought victory at Wotton Bassett.Cents knew they would be in for a hard match at Wotton Bassett as they were missing four first choice backs for the match plus historically over the years the away side have rarely come away from Bassett with a victory.
This match was no different to past encounters between the two clubs and ended up being a close affair between two closely matched teams.Cents had the better of the forward exchanges through a dominant scrum plus lineout and Bassett had the better of the exchanges in the backs who lively, fast and inventive.Cents defence was strong and needed to be against the young Bassett side who were for pride in their last home match of the season.Cents put in a different performance from of late whereby the last two weeks have been high scoring affairs for the away side this week they had to put their bodies on the line to come away with a win against a strong Bassett side.Cents knew they had to come away from Bassett with something in order to keep up their promotion push and I suspect both Banbury and Marlborough were thinking Cents might slip up in this fixture.However, Cents stepped up to the mark and won a no frills victory built on a strong forward effort plus a very strong defensive effort.
Things did not look god in the opening exchanges as Bassett raced into a 3-10 lead after 18 minutes and Cents struggled to contain the lively Bassett backs,Cents had scored through a penalty converted Wayne Mulhern
.However by half time Cents forwards began to take control of the match and the away side were in front by the interval 11-10.Cents had scored an unconverted try through Ryan Townsend plus Wayne Mulhern
had converted a second penalty.The half time score reflected how close the teams were,however Cents were beginning to take control of the match.
Cents started the second half on the offensive through their driving forward play whilst on their guard from the lively Bassett backs who looked dangerous when they got some ball.Cents increased their lead shortly after half time when Wayne Mulhern
converted his third penalty however straight after Bassett scored a converted try when they intercepted a loose Cents pass to score from a long way out.
Score 11-14 to Bassett going into the last quarter.This score made Cents push even more to get something from the game and their forwards began to exert total control of the match.
Cents went on to regain the lead though a penalty try for repeated scrum infringements by Bassett on their try line and sealed their win when Wayne Mulhern
converted his fourth penalty of the match.Final match score 24-17 to Cents who were more than delighted to have won the match.
This was a no frills victory by Cents and well deserved against strong opponents who were dangerous throughout the match.The win keeps Cents in pole position for the league runners up play off place with one match to go.Cents now know they only have to win the match without bothering about bonus points to secure the runners up spot.This match is at home and will not be easy as they are playing a Salisbury team running into a bit of form.However Cents will be picking from a full squad with all their missing backs from todays match available for selection and they hope they will not pick up any injuries during their midweek cup game against Widden Old Boys at home.