FAIRFORD’S top of the table clash with Old Cryptians saw the two sides share the spoils after a pulsating encounter at Coln House on Saturday.
The visitors arrived in GL7 having won all nine rounds of their Wadworth Gloucestershire 1 season, but were met with another steadfast display from the Green Army.
After a predictably tight opening quarter of a confrontational encounter, it was Fairford who struck first. Fly-half Ben Cohoon sized a half chance with a neat interception to dot down for the opening score of the afternoon for a 5-0 lead.
Skipper Ben Goodey needed no second invitation to score the second, crashing over in the corner for a second unconverted score to extend the advantage to 10-0.
The visitors’ response arrived before the break with number eight Matt Hurdle the man to breach the Badgers’ line as he powered through under the posts, converted by centre Luke McMahon.
Half-time offered both sides the chance to draw breath from what had been a demanding first half, with Fairford holding a 10-7 lead going into the second period – roared on by another excellent Coln House crowd.
The only score of the second half was a penalty from McMahon – who held his nerve from distance for what proved to be a crucial score to level the game up at 10-10.
Chances were created for both sides, matched by excellent defensive shifts as the league’s top two sides played out a cracking encounter – proving the strength of rugby being played at the summit of Gloucester 1.
Post-match Fairford Head Coach Danny Briggs was proud of his side’s efforts – with the result another building block in what has been a progressive few years for the Gloucestershire side.
“I am incredibly proud of all involved with the club; we competed with the league’s runaway leaders and possibly deserved the win. The result wasn’t only down to the 18 man squad, but also those not selected, those injured, the management team and the amazing Green Army.”
He added: “Those outside the club can continue to underestimate us, but as a club and a town we know what hard work can achieve. This success is because of us all and for all of us. We will not get carried away but we will continue to fight for one another and spring a few surprises.”
The two sides meet again at the end of March, whilst Fairford’s next task is an away trip to third-placed Old Elizabethans this Saturday 14th December in their final fixture of 2019.