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Combination Cup – Senior Cup Final Cheltenham Tigers RFC 65 – 20 Old Patesians RFC 2nd XV
Cheltenham Tigers have wrapped up their season with silverware in the Combination Cup.
Their impressive 65 – 20 win against Old Patesians 2nd XV, was led from the front by Captain James Hillier, who’s five tries kept Old Patesians on the back foot for the majority of the game.
Hillier’s presence at the scrum had a significant impact throughout, as several tries came from the Number 8 picking the ball from the back of the scrum and forcing his way over the line.
Hillier said; “As a whole I feel we played a solid performance, good team effort, enjoy every time we get a win against Old Pats.”
The Captain’s two initial tries were scored within the first 10 minutes and were soon followed by Winger Simiti Marautaki’s explosive burst of pace, as he got over in the corner, for the Tigers’ third try of the afternoon.
The away side retaliated and were on the scoreboard soon after conceding. Full back Thomas Amos neatly sidestepped past a tackle and ran in over the line for Old Pats opening try.
The conditions had an impact on the playing style too. Repeated pick and go drives lead to Dan Spencer-Tonks diving for the line from short range, whilst Jack Petelo grounded the ball for Cheltenham after a powerful rolling maul from a lineout.
29 – 5 up at Half time and Cheltenham were cruising.
However, Old Pats were not quite a beaten side. Two unanswered tries from Scrum Half James Tayler and Flanker George Carrie closed the gap on the home team.
Yet the potential for a comeback was short lived. Spencer-Tonks secured his second try after fending off numerous tacklers, and also unselfishly set up winger Lewis Neal to run over the line in open space.
A well-timed grubber kick bounced up for Old Pats’ Thomas Amos to get his second try at the opposite end of the park, yet that score turned out to be the last cheer for the travelling fans.
Consistent and impactful line breaks from Hillier saw him cross the white line twice more. Also, Ryker Barrowcliffe’s solid running through defenders, earnt the second row a try of his own, as the result was put out of reach, and the game ended 65 – 20.
Alex Chalk MP, a great supporter of Cheltenham Rugby Club, presented James Hillier with the Cup.