Old Cryptians go four clear at Gloucester Three summit after battle with Westbury-on-Severn
Westbury 5 Old Cryptians 11
OLD Cryptians overcame testing conditions and a typically determined Westbury side to open up a four-point gap at the top of Gloucester Division Three.
A prolonged period of possession and patient build-up resulted in an inevitable overlap which allowed fly-half Rich Howell to slide over for the opening try but the conversion was missed.
Cryptians were playing with confidence knowing a third victory of the season over their nearest title rivals would be a huge step towards securing promotion by winning the league.
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A further penalty from the boot of Marc Blackford saw the visitors open up an eight-point advantage with half-time approaching.
But Westbury are a strong and determined unit and with their usual abrasive and direct approach they came charging back at Cryptians.
A kick ahead had Cryptians scrambling near their own line and Marc Stubbs was guilty of killing the ball and earned ten minutes in the bin, his fourth yellow of the season.
Westbury drove the ball over in the corner, making instant use of their one-man advantage, but were unable to convert the try into a seven-pointer on the stroke of half-time.
Turning around 8-5 to Crypts, the second half was a real arm-wrestle, with most of the play taking place between the two 22-metre lines.
A sustained period of Cryptians pressure resulted in a penalty in front of the Westbury posts.
Instead of slotting the simple three points, Cryptians took a quick tap and tried to sneak a try.
The travelling support were stunned by the call but two further tap penalties later left the referee with little option but to send a Westbury player to the bin.
This final penalty was kicked by Josh Flounders to come away with three points and a man advantage with only 15 minutes to go.
This last period was as attritional as the rest of the match, but Cryptians were not to be denied the victory.
Westbury threw everything they had at the visitors, but Cryptians showed real resolve and determination to come away with what could prove to be a crucial four points come the end of the season.