What looked like a daunting fixture list in January for the Foresters, turned out to produce the best of performances in the season to date Facing four of the top 6 sides Cinderford have produced a consistently high level of rugby that contradicts their position in National League 1, winning 14 points out of possible 20. Cinderford have also dented the promotion drive of several Clubs, in this erratic and exciting league, and have now stretched the gap to the relegation zone to 15 points.
Missing leading points scorer Rory Teague, the Foresters still went into today’s match full of confidence. Cinderford controlled the vast majority of the game, with the forwards giving the backs a solid platform to work off, moving the ball at pace – orchestrated largely by stand-in outside half Mike Wilcox.
Director of Rugby Andy Deacon said, ”Today was a great win for us that wraps up a brilliant January. I couldn’t be happier with the work rate and commitment that the guys have put in at training and in all our games. We’ve played the top tier of the league and won three out of four, exceeding the targets that we set ourselves. The players have a well-earned week off now from the League but we continue our mid-week training sessions in great form for our next fixture home to Wharfedale.”
The opening quarter of the match was played in the Cinderford half, with Rosslyn controlling possession and the Cinderford defence standing firm. When Cinderford finally got hold of the ball, Rosslyn Park had no answer to a rolling maul from the home side, and they conceded a penalty that was kicked into touch deep in to the Rosslyn 22. From the resulting line-out the foresters got another rolling maul going, which this time could not be stopped, allowing prop Tom Heard to crash over for the opening try of the match.
On 24 minutes, after numerous pick and goes, flanker Adam Nicholls cut a majestic line and was found by Wilcox, and he ran through to score under the posts. The conversion was scored by Danny Trigg to stretch the lead to 12-0.
Cinderford had Park pinned in their own half for next 10 minutes with Park giving away countless penalties. Cinderford elected to take scrum after scrum but came away without any points to show for this. After this reprieve Rosslyn Park finally made a mark on the game and broke into Cinderford’s 22. A miss-timed tackle allowed flanker Joe Trayfoot to burst clear, supported by number 8 Mark Lock who was able to touch down for a soft try under the posts. Ross Laidlaw scored the conversion to bring the score back to 12-7.
On the stroke of half time Cinderford moved the ball across the three quarter line. Full back Trigg joined in and when a park defender rushed out, Trigg side stepped to put in winger Nev Codlin in space out wide. Codlin evaded the last ditch attempted tackle to go over the line and then touched down under the posts. Trigg slotted over the extras to give Cinderford a lead of 19-7 at half time.
At the start of the second half Rosslyn Park caught Cinderford napping, after Cinderford made a mess of the restart. From the line out the ball was moved at pace from one side of the pitch to the other, with centre Dominic Shabbo scoring Parks second try. The conversion went wide but this brought Rosslyn back within one score of Cinderford at 19-12.
Cinderford then started to mount serious pressure on the Park goal line, and the Rossyln scrum conceded penalty after penalty, with second row Stanley McKeen sent to the sin bin for 10 mins. Although a man up, and clearly dominant in the scrum Cinderford captain Adam Nicholls chose to take the 3 points, to put Cinderford 10 points ahead, and full back Trigg duly obliged by slotting over the penalty, the final score of the match.
After turning down the chance to push on for the bonus point try, Rosslyn starting to get back into the game, but Cinderford’s defence remained resolute and neither side could break down the other, with the match finishing 22-12 to Cinderford.
Cinderford Chairman of Rugby, Mark Gayther, was delighted with the result, “All the hard work is now starting to pay off, and the coaching staff must be pleased to see games ending with Cinderford in front, unlike the first half season when we came up just short on so many occasions. The sustained hard work and dedication of the players and coaches is now starting to pay off. There are many happy Cinderford supporters celebrating today’s win,“
Starman: Mike Wilcox, Cinderford
Cinderford: Trigg, Stapleton, Winchle, Scourfield, Codlin, Wilcox, Pointon (Carter 72 mins), Heard, Wilkes (Bozzard 62 mins), Smart (Bundy 60 mins), West, King, Foden, Nicholls (Allen 68 mins), Evans
Replacements: Not used Done
Rosslyn Park: Edwards, Parsons, Shabbo, Gower, Rudd (Mantella 60 mins), Laidlaw, Baxter (Barr 70 mins), Ovens, Richmond (Gotting 56 mins), Huggett (Ward 49 mins), Lloyd Jones, McKeen, Trayfoot, Rowland, Lock (Campbell 60 mins)