Cinderford 32 – Blaydon 13

[match id=107]

A Blaydon side devastated by the absence though injury of 4 key players plus another 3 on England Counties duty the previous night were predictably put to the sword by lowly Cinderford.

They more than held their own in the opening quarter and were 8-7 up at the break but a disastrous spell early in the second period when their skipper was in the sin-bin saw them concede 15 points unanswered and the game was gone.

The forwards were well on top in the early stages and flanker Harry Bate grabbed the opening try from a well organised catch and drive. Cinderford winger Neville Codlin responded immediately with the first of his hat-trick, converted by fly-half Mike Davies, but a handling in the ruck offence allowed Andrew Baggett the chance to put Blaydon back in front.

A deliberate knock-on by Keith Laughlin resulted in a yellow card and the home side for the first time were able to grab the initiative. With full-back Mike Wilcox involved in everything they poured forward and after Davies had landed a penalty another fine effort by Codlin made it 15-8.

Winger Sam Barker ran in try number 3 for them after Wilcox had made the extra man in a line break and Davies with the conversion and then a drop goal increased the advantage to 17 points.

Blaydon did well to respond from the battering and were rewarded with a consolation score when the forwards moved it around to good effect and prop James Hallam dived over in the corner but near the end Cinderford broke through again.

In a flowing move the ever dangerous Wilcox drew the covering winger to send in Codlin for his hat-trick try that not only secured a bonus point for the Gloucestershire side but also saw them make ground on Tynedale in the relegation battle at the foot of the table.

John Brennan