Junior Vase Cup – Cheltenham Saracens 31 v 23 Painswick

The Sarries went into this cup game looking to turn the tables on Painswick after losing to them in the league a few weeks previous, and all the hard work that Pete Buxton had put the boys through at training in the week leading up to the game paid off. The game started and finished in a fast and furious pace with only 3 minutes on the clock Painswick had gone in front with a penalty for an offside infringement this however did not dampen the Sarries spirits who almost immediately after going behind came back with a try with some fine footwork by Chris Wilkinson to create enough space for Luke Stoneman to score out wide.

This seemed to be the confidence boost that the home side needed and for the next 10 minutes the Sarries were in total control of the game, every time Painswick had the ball there seemed to be a Sarrie there to knock them down and eventually after several big hits from Jack Lawrnceson and Andrei Hanger giant lock Gareth Rogers picked up a loose ball to crash over for a try which Marcuss Latchford converted. But Painswick were not a side to roll over and picked up there game with there tall athletic second rows causing problems they managed to get them selves into a kickable range for there on form goal kicker to slot another penalty and the game was looking like it may of been anybody’s at this stage until veteran scrum half Neal Francis got the Sarries pack into gear again with more barn storming runs by Dave Fitzharriss and skipper Nick Hanby it wasn`t long before the home side were back crossing the line with Josh Pitman showing some lovely lines of running and a side step to beat off the Painswick defense to score the Sarries third try of the half.
Half Time 17 – 6

The second half started much the same as the first one, only being five minutes old Painswick were back on the score sheet with another penalty which seemed to spring the away side into action because straight from the kick off yet again the Painswick second row took the ball cleanly and carried the ball almost up to the Sarries twenty two where slipped the ball to the winger to race in under the post with the conversion a simple one the score was only a slender point to the Sarries. For the next ten minutes the game was a bruising one with both sides trying to play rugby at every occasion and again some huge hits but it was the Sarries who came out on top with yet again Gareth Rogers carrying over two or three of the Painswick players over the line to score his second of the afternoon, this seemed to of knocked the stuffing out of Painswick who if it was not for there never lie down approach may of seen there selves on to a hiding to nothing but they keep battling in till Norwgein captain Andrei Hanger took an interception in his own half and raced in untouched Marcuss Latchford sucessfull with the conversion, the Sarries thought that was enough and that the game was won but Painswick had other ideas and ran a try in which was converted but it was to little to late and ref blew up for the end of what was a great game.

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