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Match Report Cinderford (Away) 11th September 2021

Cinderford 29 – Caldy 21

Anyone who was around when the Caldy team coach arrived back at Paton Field just before midnight on Saturday would probably expect to see a dispirited group of players disembarking after returning from Cinderford without even a losing bonus point to show for the more than 10 hours of coach travel to and from the Forest of Dean.

That the Caldy players were upbeat and in the best of spirits was down to the excellence of the game and the closeness of the contest. Caldy’s giant second row Tom Sanders summed up the mood. 

“We are kicking ourselves for letting that game slip away from us. After Lucas scored to get us level with 15 minutes to go, we all expected to push on to get the win. We knew we had edge on them up front, but we made a couple of mistakes late on which gave them field position allowing them to close out an 8-point win and deny us any points from the game.”

“However, we know we will be immeasurably better for getting this first league match under our belts and we are all very much looking forward to next week’s home game against Birmingham Moseley”

After conceding an early score to the extreme pace of Cinderford speedster Tim Andrew, Caldy’s pack started to take control. Twice Cinderford were adjudged to have illegally denied Caldy scores and were punished by referee Dan Jones through penalty trys to Caldy. Caldy’s 14-7 lead stayed intact until just before the break when Nick Royle’s attempted interception was adjudged to be a deliberate knock on leading to another penalty try for the hosts to draw them level just before the end of the half.

The second half was as close as the first. Caldy had the ascendancy in the set piece but the excellence of Cinderford’s scrum half Mike Austin often turned defence into attack with the accuracy of his steepling box kicks. 

With Caldy’s Adam Aigbokhae cooling his heels in the sin bin Cinderford exerted pressure and regained the lead when speedster Tim Andrew went over for his second try of the day. It took a full 20 minutes of combative determined play before the next score by Caldy debutant centre Lucas Titherington which was converted by Ben Jones to bring Caldy level at 21-21.

A rare Caldy mistake gave the home side field position and after a series of pick – and – goes the Cinderford No 8 reached out to claim their unconverted bonus point try on 70 minutes. With pretty much the last play of the game a final penalty kick was enough to seal the win 29-21 for Cinderford and deny Caldy a losing bonus point.

This was a close and exciting match between two good sides. The game was a great advert for the quality of National 1 rugby as Tom Sanders acknowledged. 

“What sets National 1 rugby apart from National 2 rugby is the accuracy and pace of the game. This being their second league game meant that Cinderford were probably just that little bit sharper than us today. We will do our review during the week and look to bounce back against Birmingham Moseley next week.”

Caldy’s man of the match was debutant centre Lucas Titherington whose excellent and assured play belied his recent step up from level 6 to level 3. 

Caldy’s next National League match is against Birmingham Moseley at Caldy’s Paton Field and kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday 18th September

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