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DORSET & WILTS 1ST XV CUP FINAL: Trowbridge 27 Corsham 12
TROWBRIDGE lifted the county cup as a dominant first-half performance did the damage in a Folly Lane mudbath.
Head coach Steve Ojomoh picked up the first piece of silverware since taking charge at the beginning of last season as his side scored four tries in the opening 40 minutes against local rivals Corsham at Warminster RFC.
Trowbridge’s powerful pack laid the platform for victory, the winners scoring two tries while Corsham prop Steve Bailey was in the sin-bin late in the opening period.
But Corsham, who also lost captain Dave Finlay to injury in the first half, battled manfully in the second, dominating the territorial battle and putting their rivals’ defence under close scrutiny, without being able to force the scores that would have got them back into the game.
The conditions – the teams were met by driving rain and a fierce wind – ensured that whoever made the fewer mistakes was likely to emerge triumphant.
Trowbridge imposed themselves early on as number eight Shane Johnstone, prop Sean Jones and centre Joe Knight drove into the heat of the Corsham defence.
With Corsham giving up a number of early penalties it wasn’t long before Trowbridge fly-half Lloyd Davis nailed an excellent, albeit wind-assisted, penalty from 45 metres to get his side on the board.
The first try wasn’t long in following as Davis kicked a penalty to the corner and Trowbridge drove over the line with veteran second row Mark Durant emerging with the ball.
Davis missed the conversion and Corsham fought back with their best spell of the opening period.
Earning good field position, number eight Ben Russell charged off the back of a scrum and, as the ball went wide, the Corsham backs made light of the tough conditions with some excellent handling that allowed centre Henry Brown to gallop over in the corner.
Finlay was unlucky with the conversion into the wind and back came Trowbridge, the pack driving up towards the line for several phases before full-back Ashley Chalk’s lateral run allowed wing James McFarlane the space to go over out wide.
Bailey saw yellow for knocking the ball out of Trowbridge scrum-half Kyle Knight’s hands and Corsham paid the price as centre Tom Weaver’s neat chip to the corner set up a lineout, which Corsham overthrew, allowing flanker Barry Coombs the chance to plough over, Davis adding an excellent conversion.
Just before half time, Trowbridge took an even firmer grip on affairs as the pack drove once more and prop Sam Edwards was the benficiary, Davis again adding a fine conversion.
Unsurprisingly, the second half proved an error-strewn affair, with most of the action concentrated around Trowbridge’s 22 metre line.
Corsham drove repeatedly at their opponents but the conditions meant handling errors were a frequent feature.
They went close when Davis’ clearance kick was charged down in goal, with Guy Cooke touching down, but referee Stewart Kilby adjudged he had knocked on in the process.
Trowbridge made the occasional foray into enemy territory, but the try Corsham merited for their second half effort arrived five minutes before time as wing Dan Hammond crossed in the corner and Rory Auld landed an excellent conversion.
REACTION FROM BOTH THE TROWBRIDGE AND CORSHAM CAMPS, PLUS PICTURES FROM SATURDAY'S FINAL IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHRIE TIMES
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