Cinderford continued their much improved form with a five-try bonus point victory over a hard-working Wharfedale side, in the sunshine at their Dockham Road ground. The home side opened the scoring after 20 minutes when some excellent handling put winger Lloyd Stapleton over for a try, which Rory Teague converted. Wharfedale levelled the scores when they intercepted a pass deep in their own 22, and a sweeping move up field eventually led to James Tincknell scoring a try, converted by Tom Davidson. Home captain Adam Nicholls was forced to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder just before half-time, and the score remained unchanged 7-7 at the interval.
The visitors started the second-half strongly and soon went ahead when second-row Richard Brown was driven over the line from close range for a try which went unconverted. Cinderford quickly hit back when Teague put Nevaro Codlin away down the blindside, and he just managed to get the ball down in corner, drawing the scores level at 12-12. Back came Wharfedale and outside-half Tom Barrett dropped a goal to regain the lead for his team after 56 minutes play.
At this point Cinderford finally began to take a grip on the game, and Stapleton gathered up a loose ball and stole away down the blindside for his second try. Rory Teague converted to give Cinderford a 19-14 lead. A penalty to Cinderford in front of the posts was quickly taken and a clever pass enabled Codlin to touchdown for his second try and the bonus point score, with Teague again adding the extras.
Visiting captain Rob Baldwin was then shown a yellow card for holding back a Cinderford player, and the home side took advantage of the extra man. From a lineout catch and drive Stapleton became involved in the maul to the line and was on hand to claim the touchdown, completing his ‘hat-trick’ of tries.
Wharfedale pressed hard for a consolation score in the closing stages but the home defence was up to the task, and they saw out the remainder of the match to complete their sixth victory in their last seven outings. The win moves Cinderford up to joint 8th in the league and with 7 matches remaining they will be looking to achieve the highest possible finish to the season.
Star Man:- Sam Wilkes (Cinderford)
Cinderford: M.Wilcox (D.Trigg 74), N.Codlin (K.Done 74), S.James, R.Winchle, L.Stapleton, R.Teague, D.Pointon, J.Smart (J.Brooks 71), S.Wilkes (T.Bozzard 74), C.Bundy, B.West, E.King, A.Nicholls (Capt.) (J.Kitson 34), W.Foden, G.Evans.