Cinderford left the impressive Northern Echo Arena still looking for their opening National League One victory of the season, after losing out in a high scoring encounter against league newcomers Darlington Mowden Park.

After some early pressure from the home side, Cinderford suffered a blow when outside-half Mark Davies was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. The visitors weathered the storm and a breakaway from their own line looked promising, but the pass was delayed too long and a knock-on saw the opportunity lost.

Mowden Park soon made the extra man count when the overlap was created and winger Callum McKenzie went over for an unconverted try in the corner. The Forest side responded well and winger Sam Baker showed good strength to drive through an attempted tackle and score wide out. More good play from forwards and backs combined saw Cinderford go ahead when prop Joe Smart crashed over under the posts, with Mike Wilcox converting.

The match continued to flow and the home side were soon back on level terms with an excellent try from centre Cameron Mitchell, which Gary Law converted. Some weak tackling then enabled home No8 Ollie Hodgson to burst through for another try which Law again converted to make it 19-12 after 28 minutes of play. Cinderford created some good attacking phases in the remainder of the first-half, but their set-piece was under pressure and they were unable to take advantage until an attempted clearance was charged down by Davies and the ball was gathered by second-row Lance Randall who scored an unconverted try.

The home side picked up their try scoring bonus point when Mitchell scored his second try, another excellent effort as they ran the ball from deep inside their own half, with Law converting. Park second-row Chris Campbell was then shown a yellow card for pulling down a catch and drive to the line by Cinderford. However from the ensuing lineout No8 George Evans crashed over, with Davies converting to put the match back in the balance at 26-24.

Both sides created scoring chances in the final quarter, but it was inability of Cinderford to secure enough quality set-piece ball that proved decisive as Law kicked a penalty and then dropped a goal deep in injury-time to secure victory for the home side.

Cinderford RFC: Mike Wilcox, Henry Bird, Jack Adams, Sam Hanks, Sam Baker, Mark Davies, Andy Uren, Joe Smart, Finlay Sinclair, Elliot Booley, Lance Randall, Milo Reynolds, George Mills, Chris McNeil, George Evans.

Replacements all used: James Brooks, Luke Cole, Rhys Luckwell, Dan Pointon, Charlie Norman.

 

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