Calne Rugby (sponsored by Bevirs Solicitors) welcomed Berkshire Shire Hall to the Rec looking to win their second cup of the season and progress to the South West final.
From the kickoff, it was Berkshire who attacked with purpose and their early intensity paid off with a try within the first few minutes which silenced the home spectators.
As the conversion was missed the Calne team were gathered to reflect on their opponents fast start and from the restart matched their rivals before establishing complete dominance.
Calne’s response would come in the form of winger Jamie Palmer, Captain Tom Morten passed the ball to Palmer to score in the corner (converted by Liam Kearney from the touchline).
From the restart Calne continued to maintan the intensity and from a ruck, Dan Treacy’s clever box kick to the corner, enabled Kearney to chase and score in the corner. (converted by Kearney from the other touchline)
Calne were also exerting their dominance at the scrum and lineout with Bruce Harper and Keith Bradley spoiling Berkshire’s attempts to secure the ball. Props Tom Morten, Dave Evans and Pete Brownlie were keeping Calne on the front foot as the pack rumbled forward at the scrum. At the breakdown there were some fantastic performances with Matt Johnston, Chris McAlonan and Alan Wicks competing for the ball at every opportunity and were a handful all afternoon.
But this was very much a team performance as scrum half Dan Treacy managed the game effectively to unleash Adam Young who put in another fantastic performance to burst through challenges and threaten the Berkshire line. And it was another trademark run from Young that saw him beat four defenders to score under the posts.
The home side were now in control on the scoreboard but the visitors continued to mount their own attacks only to be repelled by some fine tackling from the ever reliable Calne fullback Mark Webber. After a great kick to the corner, Calne then secured lineout ball, set up a maul and the in-form Pete Brownlie drove over the line to put even more daylight between the teams.
To their credit, Berkshire continued to get back into the game but Calne would not be denied as centres Marcus Turner, Brian Hopkins (10) and Adam Young refused to let anyone pass them.
The final score would come from the joint man of the match Chris McAlonan. after applying the pressure and having several phases within the Berkshire 22, McAlonan sniped through to score.
Calne made a few changes to great affect as Simon Walker, Dave Holmes, Jay Watkin, Cameron and Rhys Davies made their presences felt, which showed good strength and depth in the squad.
The final word would come from the game visitors who scored with the final play of the game as Calne celebrated another cup success. Calne Rugby will now try and win their third trophy as they host Spartans (Gloucester) at the Calne Recreation Ground on Sat 18th March at 2pm.
Chairman Chris Austin was delighted with another cup win and said ” It was another great day for Calne Rugby. We have a great squad of players and there is a real sense of togetherness here in Calne. Berkshire Shire Hall were certainly worthy finalists and we had to work hard to get this victory. We are now two games away from a final at Twickenham but we will keep our feet on the ground and just enjoy each game as they come.