Cinderford welcomed Fylde to the newly named Beavis Memorial Ground, the inaugural meeting between these two clubs.
In a entertaining game which saw Fylde keeping the ball alive at every opportunity Cinderford dominated possession yet again, but for the second week running a few unforced errors prevented Cinderford from taking the maximum points.
After less than a minute Cinderford skipper Adam Nicholls limped out of the game with a hamstring injury, a big blow to the Foresters early on that initially put them on the back foot. Nicholls was replaced by McKee.
After 7 minutes a quick tap penalty by Fylde scrum half Depledge caught Cinderford napping. He moved the ball inside and Cinderford missed several tackles before he offloaded to Robert Stewart who touched down under the posts. Collins scored the conversion to give Fylde an early 7-0 lead.
Only 5 minutes later Fylde scored their second try of the game as the defence again went missing, but the conversion attempt was missed to leave the score 12-0. Fylde were playing fast open rugby and Cinderford weren’t quite with it for the first 12 minutes.
After going 12-0 down Cinderford started playing and after missing a penalty in front of the posts Teague finally got the Foresters on the scoreboard with another penalty on 15 minutes, cutting the deficit to 12-3.
Three minutes latter a well worked move by Cinderford created a two man overlap, but Rory Teague did not need the overlap as he sliced through the Fylde defence with ease to score under the posts. He then converted his own try to bring Cinderford within two points of Fylde at 12-10.
A marginal decision prevented Cinderford taking the lead as Simeon James raced clear of the Fylde defence to score what most felt was a fair try, only for the referee to call him back for offside.
After 27 minutes Cinderford gave away a penalty on their own 5m line for handling on the floor. While Cinderford were aligning their defence they were caught napping with a quickly taken tap penalty by outside half Collins, who dived over the line to score and convert. After converting the try Fylde now led 19-10
On 35 minutes Fylde were awarded a penalty, which Collins converted successfully to stretch the lead to 22-10.
With the half-time whistle looming Fylde had possession just inside the home team’s half, but excellent work by the Cinderford forwards turned over the ball. They quickly moved it outside to prop Paul Price who put in an excellent kick off his left foot downfield for Lloyd Stapleton to gather and go over unopposed under the posts. The try was converted by Teague to leave the half time score 22-17 to Fylde.
At the start of the second half Cinderford began to exert real pressure and Fylde started giving away penalties. Cinderford elected to kick each of them to touch, such was their dominance in the line out. The pressure finally counted as number eight George Evans was driven over to score. Teague then converted to put Cinderford in front for the first time in the game 24-22.
The referee then warned both teams about the amount of penalties being conceded. Cinderford’s prop Paul Price was the unlucky one to give away the next penalty and was sent to the sin bin. From the penalty Fylde elected to take the scrum and moved the ball wide for full back Royle, and with a man over he scored in the corner. The try was converted by Collins to put Fylde 29-24 up.
For the remaining 8 minutes of the sin bin the Cinderford pack dominated. Fylde gave away a penalty just inside their own half and Teague again kicked to touch. After several mauls being pulled down the ref finally sent the Fylde replacement flanker to the bin. This time with the penalty in front of the posts Teague slotted it over to bring the home side to within two points.
With 4 minutes remaining on the clock Cinderford were awarded a penalty 40m out. Instead of kicking for the corner Teague elected to go for goal, and with the wind against him he pushed it wide and dead. Fylde kicked the drop-out long downfield into Cinderford’s 22. Teague gathered and tried to kick clear but it was charged down by Bingham who collected the ball to run over and score. Collins converted to give Fylde a 9-point lead with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Just when everyone thought that was the deciding score Cinderford came back strongly again and deep into injury time winger Stapleton scored his second try of the match as he broke though the tiring Fylde back line. Teague converted to bring Cinderford within 2 points of Fylde, with only injury time remaining.
From the kick off Cinderford started to run the ball back, and Fylde conceded a penalty on the half way line. The crowd sensed a late twist as Cinderford won the line out and started the move the ball out wide. The ball finally came out to Stapleton who couldn’t beat quite his man out wide, and as the play broke down Fylde were awarded a scrum. From the scrum they kicked to touch to finally end the game and the Cinderford resistance, running out 36-34 winners.
Although a thoroughly entertaining game Cinderford were disappointed not to take maximum points from this match, as at Coventry last week, but at least took 2 bonus points forward to next weeks meeting at Birmingham and Solihull Bees.
Andy Deacon, director of rugby, commented after the game “We started the game slowly like we did at Coventry last week. After getting back into the game in the second half into the wind we dominated possession. We never gave up and at the end of the day claimed 2 points but in reality it should have been 5, which left us disappointed. We can expect a reaction in training next week and with a win at Birmingham & Solihull next week this will kick start our season.”
Final score Cinderford 34 Fylde 36.