RUGBY: Old Centralians 41 Chippenham 36
CHIPPENHAM bowed out of National Three South West with a heroic second-half fightback that narrowly ended in failure in Gloucestershire.
Danny Thomas’ side hit back for a 24-3 ‘win’ after the break but the home side narrowly held on to keep their own hopes of beating the drop alive.
Chippenham fell behind when flanker Dan Kanpman finished off a spell of pressure and fly-half Ollie Locke added the conversion but prop Aaron Clark’s try and fly-half Lewis Surry’s extras restored parity.
Fraser Clilverd then added a second try to put the Wiltshire men ahead but Locke’s penalty started a spell of dominance for the hosts.
Wing Joe Preece scored a hat-trick of tries and number eigh Rich Pinkney also touched down, Locke adding all the conversions for a 38-12 half-time advantage.
Chippenham though, roared back after the break, flanker Chris Day touching down and Surry converting.
Cents lost prop Scott Fritchley to the sin-bin but landed a three-pointer from Harry Taylor but, with the home side getting desperate in defence, Pinkney was also shown the yellow card and lock Matt Bye drove over before Clilverd added his second score.
Scrum-half Sam Alford then scored and Surry converted but time ran out for Chippenham.
MORE RUGBY REPORTS, REACTION & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES