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Report: Cirencester 11 Fairford 19

FAIRFORD completed a home and away league double over rivals Cirencester with an industrious 19-11 victory at The Whiteway on Saturday afternoon.

After a 32-15 victory in the reverse encounter earlier in the season at Coln House, there was a big crowd in place to see a competitive local derby in Wadworth Gloucestershire 1.

The hosts went ahead with a penalty from distance for a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes on the board, but the experienced Richie Craig put the Badgers in front six minutes later. Craig was on hand at the back of a driving maul to cross the whitewash for his second try in as many games for an unconverted score.

Cirencester’s riposte saw them land another penalty before the break to edge in front 6-5 with the game evenly poised going into the second half despite the difficult conditions.

The Badgers, backed by superb support from the sidelines once again, made a quickfire start to the second period with Eric White chasing down a kick forward to score with Ben Cohoon adding the extras from a difficult angle to secure a 12-6 advantage.

A driving maul on the hour put Cirencester back into the game with an unconverted score bringing them just a point behind at 12-11 with 20 minutes remaining.

The victory was sealed eight minutes from the end when sustained Fairford pressure saw fly-half Cohoon weave through from close range for a converted try which extended the lead to 19-11.

It was to be a winning margin as Fairford completed the league double over Cirencester – with the visitors ended the day in third ahead of next weekend’s visit of fourth-placed Dursley.

Fairford’s 2nd XV were beaten 20-0 in an earlier kick-off, going in 5-0 at the break before the hosts secured the win thanks to a hat-trick of tries.