ST BRENDAN’S Old Boys completed the double over Fairford as they emerged with a 31-22 victory from a bruising Coln House encounter on Saturday.
It was the first time the Badgers had suffered back to back defeats in 2019/20 – with Saturday’s encounter following the pre-Christmas reverse at Old Elizabethans.
The game proved entertaining for the neutral with over 50 points scored – with the visitors quick off the mark to race into a 10-0 lead inside six minutes thanks to a converted try and a penalty.
Fairford’s response was a slick move down the blindside with Luke Sawyer’s pick-up from the base of a solid scrum feeding scrum-half Ben Taylor who set Mike Wrona away to thunder through the visitors’ rearguard to make it 5-10. In turn, St Brendan’s continued to build their score with another converted finish for 5-17 with 20 minutes on the clock.
The end to end flow continued as just a minute later, a strong driving run from the effervescent Adam Blizzard set up a strong platform, from which swift hands down the blindside from Taylor and Ben Goodey found centre Eric White to finish in the corner. The width of the post denied Jake Summers the extras at 10-17. A well-executed chip and chase kept the visitors scoreboard ticking at 10-24 but once again Fairford were not bowed. Hooker Richie Craig’s pinpoint throw set up Robbie Dalgleish with a driving maul, with Craig on hand to gather and cross the whitewash from the base of a driving maul for a 15-24 scoreline at the interval.
Calculated power play from the home pack early in the second period provided good ball for fly-half Harry Johnson, whose footwork forced a penalty try to reduce the arrears to 22-24 and it was game on.
A tight final quarter of the affair ensued, where collective indiscipline from the hosts saw Dalgleish sent to the bin and the Bristol side capitalised on the numerical advantage with a penalty try from the last play of the day.
Coach Danny Briggs commented: “St Brendan’s Old Boys thoroughly deserved their victory, they executed their moves and game plan better than us. We had the opportunities to get the win, however today wasn’t our day; this shouldn’t take the shine off what has been an exceptionally good season thus far and with a hard weeks training, Cirencester can expect us to be back at our very best next week.”
F/T: Fairford 22 St Brendan’s Old Boys 31