Cornish All Blacks 7 Cinderford 24

Cinderford rounded off their pre- season campaign with a comfortable win against National Two Cornish All Blacks at Polson Bridge. Despite being unable to secure any decent line-out ball throughout the first half the Foresters forced the Launceston outfit to turn over plenty of possession thanks to some aggressive defence especially in the centres where Robbie Winchle and Charlie Norman shone.

Cinderford went ahead in the 19th minute when scrum-half Alex Frame ghosted over from a breakdown on the home 22. Mark Davies converted. The foresters looked impressive playing their all action up tempo game where outside-half Davies gave a faultless display. However a dogged All Blacks defence held the line until the fortieth minute when Cinderford wing Sam Baker rounded off some sparkling play to squeeze over in the corner after Captain and full-back Mike Wilcox had turned the defence.

The foresters got into their stride after half- time and with the introduction of Finlay Sinclair the line-out became much more solid. This showed to good effect when Cinderford chose the catch and drive option with outstanding second-row Matt Lane touching down twice in short order. An already bruising affair then looked likely to get even more fractious but referee Paul Kimber sent All Blacks Bruce Pow and Cinderford’s Sinclair for a ten minutes cooling off period and the crowd were then treated to even more cut and thrust as both teams upped the ante in the final minutes. Cinderford will be disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet but the dogged Launceston men got their reward when lock Ben Hilton touched down for outside-half Jake Murphy to convert.

This was a good all round team effort by the Cinderford men at a ground where they have often struggled in the past. However the difference in speed of thought and action reflected difference between National one and National Two. Next Saturday Cinderford’s season begins in earnest when they travel to Esher for the first match of the season proper.

Star men Matt Lane and Mark Davies

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