Visits to Wharfedale’s picturesque ground at Thresfield have always proved testing for Cinderford, and once again this proved to be the case as the home side scored six tries to earn themselves a well deserved victory and push their opponents to the brink of relegation from National League One.
The visitors took an early lead when James Moffat slotted a penalty, but Dan Solomi’s offload soon put Dale’s captain James Doherty in for his side’s opening try. A second try from Josh Burridge followed soon afterwards, as the home side took advantage of some poor defensive play, before Moffat kept Cinderford in contention with another successful kick at goal. As half-time approached that pattern was repeated as Adam Howard crashed over, with Moffat then landing his third penalty to make it 15-9 at the interval.
Dale’s backs began to cut loose from the re-start and some excellent handling created the space for Lloyd Davies to score their bonus point try after 46 minutes of play. A decisive beak in mid-field by Cameron Hudson saw the visitor’s defence opened up again, and he put winger Oliver Cicognini over for a fifth try. Cinderford finally put some good phases of play together and hooker Luke Cole scored a try which replacement outside-half Callum Sheedy converted.
More tremendous support play from the home side put Dan Solomi over for a sixth try, which Jamie Guy, who had a poor day from the kicking tee, finally converted.
The visitors then enjoyed their best spell of the match, and some good handling put winger Leo Fielding over for an unconverted try in the corner. Sensing the chance of a losing bonus point, and with their opponents reduced to 13 men, following yellow cards for Solomi and Davies, Cinderford piled on the pressure in the closing minutes, but a 5m scrum was lost and the ball went into touch to finish the match.
Cinderford: Mike Wilcox, Stef Hawley, Rob Winchle, Sam Hanks, Leo Fielding, James Moffat, Danny Pointon, Chris Bundy, Luke Cole, Elliot Booley, Roger Birkin, Ed King, George Mills, Marcus Brown, George Evans.
Replacements: Jake Caulfield, Sam Wilkes, Milo Reynolds, Clive Stuart-Smith, Callum Sheedy.