Rugby Result: Rosslyn Park 24 Cinderford 7
Park win maintains their challenge to top two clubs
Another five point home win for Rosslyn Park maintained their challenge to the two top clubs, Ealing and Coventry. On an icy day the opening minutes were fairly even as the two sides sparred looking for an opening. Once Park moved up a gear things warmed up and they fairly dominated the first half
On 15 minutes a good run pierced the visitors’ midfield defence and the ball was taken on by scrum half Luke Carter and swung out to both wings, stretching the defence, eventually being worked quickly wide on the right for winger Dave Vincent to go over in the corner to complete a superb team try. Fly half Scott Sneddon’s difficult conversion attempt passed narrowly wide of the far post.
Park were now rampant with flanker Mike Macfarlane and skipper Hugo Ellis making incisive runs to draw some heroic tackling from Cinderford. A move started by some neat interplay between full-back Nev Edwards and Vincent eventually set up Park’s powerful pack to drive Cinderford back over their own line, Ellis claiming the try on 20 minutes. Sneddon added a peach of a conversion for 12-0.
A good Park attack drew a penalty, which was booted towards the corner for the catch and drive. Park camped on the line, earned a scrum and intolerable pressure saw Cinderford inevitably concede the Penalty Try. Sneddon chipped over the conversion to complete formalities for 19-0.
Park strove hard to grab the bonus point before the interval, but Cinderford defended very well.
The home side started the second period as if they meant business, but were frustrated by a combination of robust defence and self-inflicted wounds. They gained an attacking line-out in the visiting 22 but the throw was adjudged not straight. The powerful home pack took a scrum against the head but the ball went out of play. A great attack down the left saw them camp on the visiting line only to knock on.
Having escaped intact, Cinderford showed that they could play a bit, too, with an attack up their right wing that saw scrum half Clive Stuart-Smith snipe a good try wide of the posts, excellently converted by fly half James Moffatt on 50 minutes.
Almost from the restart kick they very nearly caught Park napping again with a tremendous sprint down the right but – with the line at their mercy – the ‘scoring’ pass was forward.
That jolted Park into a response, and a great run out of defence by replacement prop Alex Lundberg drew a penalty, kicked to the corner but – just as a try seemed likely – they were pinged for not releasing.
A concerted attack saw Vincent and Macfarlane nearly get over before Carter found space to nip in and secure the bonus point.
A super Park move almost to the line saw a mis-directed pass lose them possession. A further attack gained a penalty, easily kickable for 3 points but replacement fly half Tom Whelan attempted a precision kick into the corner only to see the ball pass the wrong side of the flag. A further penalty, taken as a quick tap, brought all sorts of trouble to the visiting defence and cost them a yellow card and they had to play out the final minutes with 14 men.
Park looked like pressing home their numerical advantage, but a poor pass spoilt the move and they had to be content with a four-try victory. Although Park missed a few chances, much credit must also go to some really good defensive work by Cinderford.
February 8, 2015