RUGBY: Battling Corsham earn cup final praise

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Defeated finalists Corsham at the post-final presentation ceremony Defeated finalists Corsham at the post-final presentation ceremony

CORSHAM head coach Dan Jeffries saluted his side for battling on after seeing their hopes of lifting the county cup ultimately washed away in a mud-caked first half at Warminster RFC on Saturday.

Trowbridge scored four tries in the opening 40 minutes against their fellow Southern Counties South outfit in driving rain and a fierce wind at Folly Lane.

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.

Jeffries said: “I thought Trowbridge took their chances really well in the first half and exploited it well when we went down to 14 players in that period just before half time.

“However the boys were asked to simplify their game in the second half and play the conditions.

“The boys really stepped up. We controlled the second half, and had a couple of near scores, however Trowbridge dug in and defended well.’’

Trowbridge fly-half Lloyd Davis nailed a wind-assisted, penalty from 45 metres before veteran second row Mark Durant touched down.

Corsham fought back with their best spell of the opening period and made light of the tough conditions with excellent handling that allowed centre Henry Brown to gallop over in the corner.

But wing James McFarlane, flanker Barry Coombs and prop Sam Edwards crossed for Trowbridge before the break, Davis converting twice.

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.

The try Corsham merited arrived five minutes before time as wing Dan Hammond crossed in the corner and Rory Auld landed an excellent conversion.

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