Cinderford RFC: Deacon left to count cost of heavy defeat
CLASSY Doncaster showed Cinderford what it takes to be at the top of the National One Division as they outpowered their hosts.
The former Championship outfit were physical, fast and powerful as they scored five tries without reply, until forwards coach Lee Fortey crashed over in the 73rd minute to offer some consolation.
Leaking 30 points on home turf, was a bitter pill for boss Andy Deacon to swallow, after securing their first win against new boys Hull Ionians last weekend.
But Doncaster, with full-time players on their books, were able to open the Foresters up defensively, overpowering them in the contact areas and turning over a large number of Cinderford balls.
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Injuries were also a frustrating problem for the Foresters.
With fly-half Mark Davies sidelined with a back injury, full-back Mike Wilcox wore the 10 jersey, tenacious scrum-half Reece Boughton took on the kicking duty and Stef Hawley came in at 15.
With Tom Heard on duty with Gloucester in Newcastle, Elliot Booley made an accomplished season debut at prop.
Joe Smart was unavailable, which brought Brad Davies, who is recovering from an elbow injury, and Fortey onto the bench.
And during the game, skipper and skilful number eight George Evans suffered a nasty cut to the head, and replacement Lance Randall took a blow to the ribs.
Deacon said: "I think we missed Mark, and his leadership and the way he can control a game.
"We've probably got four injuries now and two of those will keep players out for next week, which is challenging.
"The injuries did disrupt us. But we can't blame that for everything.
"We had a platform to get in to the game, but after the platform we didn't do anything meaningful to get points on the board.
"They turned too many balls over, which was disappointing, and they were a bit more streetwise than us.
"But I am extremely disappointed to have a points difference of 30 on our home turf. I have been here 10 years and not seen a points difference like that here."
It took just three minutes for the physical and powerful Knights to make their mark on the scoreboard.
Despite a pass from a clinical Knights lineout that referee Craig Maxwell Keys could have pinged for being forward, pacy, powerful winger Tyson Lewis crashed over.
Winger Dougie Flockhart kicked the conversion, and the visitors had a seven-point advantage.
Wingers Paul Jarvis and Tyson Lewis were causing problems from the whistle, slicing through defence and powering past centre Jack Adams and Nev Codlin who were on the wing to cover.
Cinderford conceded a penalty in the 14th minute, as Sam Hanks was pinged for not rolling away, but the otherwise accurate Dougie Flockhart booted it wide.
A chance fell to the Foresters shortly after. Jack Adams capitalised on loose passing from the Knights and broke free at the halfway line.
Looking around wildly for support, Adams fed free-scoring winger Nev Codlin, but Lewis brought him crashing to the ground.
In the 23rd minute, from a well-executed lineout, Bevon Armitage, older brother to England stars Delon and Steffon muscled into space in the red zone, passing to Phil Eggleshaw who offloaded to captain Matt Challinor.
The skipper flew over the try-line, and Flockhart added the extras to double the Knights' lead.
Foresters' captain Evans sustained his head injury in defending that try, and with blood pouring down his face, was replaced by Randall until he was bandaged up.
In his first start since return from injury, Ed King stole a lineout in a promising position, but in what was their only try-scoring opportunity of the first half, Hawley let a ball slip through his hands.
It went from bad to worse, as back row George Mills was yellow-carded for a late, no arms tackle, and the first half ticked on almost 10 minutes into injury time.
From a powerful scrum for the Knights, number eight Phil Eggleshaw was stopped just short of the line, before skipper Challinor crashed over to make the score 21-0.
A try two minutes into the start of the second half for Doncaster was a kick in the teeth for the 14-men Foresters.
Former Hartpury winger Jarvis scythed through after a clever one-two with Michael Hills. Flockhart converted.
Attack coach Brad Davies replaced Sam Hanks in the 43rd minute– his experience needed to help counter the Knights' pace and power and Randall replaced Will Keenan.
But a blow to Randall's ribs just minutes later meant coach Fortey was soon running on.
The Knights were allowed to crash over again as Mat Clark scored a converted try in the 53rd minute.
Cinderford increased the intensity in the final quarter and were almost rewarded as Adams' chip-and-chase effort bounced over the tryline, but referee Maxwell-Keys adjudged in-form winger Hawkins had failed to ground it.
In the 73rd minute, coach Fortey muscled over after a driving lineout from the hosts, but Boughton's conversion hit the upright.
Cinderford: S Hawley, N Codlin, J Adams, S Hanks (B Davies, 43), C Hawkins (L Stapleton, 68), M Wilcox, R Boughton, C Bundy, T Bozzard (F Sinclair, 40), E Booley, E King, T Hicks, W Keenan (L Randall, 51, L Fortey, 55), G Mills, G Evans (c)
Doncaster: P Jarvis, D Flockhart, M Clark, B Armitage, T Lewis, P Roberts (J Barker, 68), C Hallam (B Bravo, 68), J Cosgrove, R Santamaria, C Phillips (B Hunter, 61), M Challinor (c), M Walker-Fitton (G Kenworthy, 65), S Jones, M Hills (J Bergmanis, 61), P Eggleshaw
Referee: Craig Maxwell Keys
Star man: Elliot Booley