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At last, Cinderford Rugby Club enjoy away win over Hull in National One

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 05, 2014

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Cinderford enjoyed their trip to Hull and back on Saturday, winning 23-11.

At the eighth time of asking, Andy Deacon’s side claimed their first away win of the season in National One against the side propping up the table.

The hosts, who have won only once in 17 league games in 2013/14 were disrupted during the warm-up, losing Joe Sanders and Adam Thomas to illness and injury. They were replaced by Alex Campbell and Isaac Green.

Cinderford applied the early pressure and were rewarded with a penalty after four minutes, converted by the unerringly accurate Mark Davies.

From the re-start Simon Hammersley was given the opportunity to reply but his effort drifted just wide.

Although Hammersley hadn’t brought his kicking boots he was wearing his dancing shoes as twice he brought the crowd alive with some scintillating running. Firstly he supported Isaac Green, who had broken through after a quick tap penalty, to ghost past several defenders and then, after he had fielded a misdirected clearance kick he produced a 30-yard break which took him to within inches of the Cinderford line.

Despite holding the territorial advantage the Hull forwards were well marshalled by the experienced Cinderford back row and were unable to sustain the pressure because they conceded needless penalties which allowed Cinderford to clear their lines. On the half hour the Hull pack regained possession after giving away yet another penalty and Steve Johnson on the charge earned Hammersley a third penalty attempt and his first success to level the scores.

The final minutes of the half had plenty of endeavour but little enterprise as the forwards fought for supremacy.

Chris Reakes gave Hull the advantage with a drop goal on the stroke of half time, a three-point lead they just about deserved.

The opening minutes of the second half were dominated by Cinderford as the pattern of the first half was repeated; the forwards slogging it out to try to gain the upper hand. A try looked as unlikely as sunshine.

The game swung decisively in the visitors’ favour when flanker Mark Wigham was binned for pulling a maul to ground. From a resulting scrum Cinderford were awarded a penalty try and the dependable Davies had no problem adding the conversion from under the posts to give Cinderford a 10-6 lead.

Cinderford made their numerical superiority tell when their back line moved the ball nicely and created space for second row Ed King to stroll in for a try two minutes later and with Davies again adding the goal Cinderford had a comfortable 17-6 lead.

With the match entering the final quarter Hull spurned the chance to reduce the arrears when they elected to scrummage instead of accepting a simple penalty goal from less than 20 metres and they began to look in disarray.

Steve Slingsby, seriously underused, finally got his hands on the ball when he fielded a misdirected kick and he jinked through the first line of defence before linking with Hammersley who made ground and slipped a clever off-load creating space for winger Will Heylings to cross in the corner to make it 17-11.

Despite a reshuffle, which brought Hammersley into the more influential fly-half berth and Naylor into the match and allowed the hosts to instigate several backs moves, Cinderford held out comfortably and they were able to extend their lead with two further penalties by Davies to return home with four valuable points.

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