In form Cinderford continued their climb up the National One table with a bonus point victory over Sedgley Park.
Cinderford came out all guns blazing in the first 5 minutes, but impatience, and a desire to score with every play led to mistakes, and they couldn’t capitalise or break down the Sedgley Park defence. After only 6 minutes Cinderford suffered a blow when leading try scorer Lloyd Stapleton became the second player in two weeks to suffer a dislocated shoulder, after losing captain Adam Nicholls last week. Both players are now missing for the remainder of the season.
After suffering their own early injury problems it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 13 minutes play, when a missed tackle allowed hooker Richard Oxley to touchdown for an unconverted try. Cinderford soon responded when the referee awarded them a penalty try after he decided that Sedgley had deliberately wheeled a 5m scrum, as the home drove to the line. Rory Teague landed the conversion.
The flow of the match continued to be badly disrupted as both sides suffered numerous injuries. however the home side increased their lead after 26 minutes when the ball was quickly recycled from a ruck on the 22m line, and centre Simeon James burst through to score a try right in the corner. The kick went unconverted into a strong wind. Both sides had further opportunities, but the score remained 12-5 at the interval.
The visitors began the second-half strongly but never looked like breaking through some resolute home defence, and on their first incursion into the Sedgley half, Cinderford were awarded a penalty which Teague put over to make 15-5. Another good passage of play by the home side saw James break through the line, and his strength took him through two tackles as he squeezed the ball over the line. Teague added the conversion to make it 22-12 to Cinderford.
Back came Sedgley and they were rewarded for their persistence and good play when second-row Louis McGowan was driven over for a try from close range, Matt Riley converting.
Injuries and handling errors continued to abound, but five minutes from time Teague was on target with his second penalty out wide, before Cinderford finished the game off in fine style to earn themselves a bonus point. A perfectly executed move saw winger Nev Codlin take a pass from Teague and go over unopposed under the posts for a try, which Teague converted to complete the scoring. Cinderford won 32-12 to move up to 7th in National 1.
Cinderford; M.Wilcox (D.Trigg 64), L.Stapleton (K.Done 7), S.James, R.Winchle, N.Codlin, R.Teague, D.Pointon, J.Smart (J.Brooks 60), S.Wilkes (T.Bozzard 60), C.Bundy, B.West,
E.King, L.Allen, W.Foden (J.Kitson 60), G.Evans (Capt.)
Star Man:- George Evans (Cinderford)