Cornish Pirates sunk by Cinderford early sparkle
'ON FIRE' in the first 20 minutes, Cinderford outgunned Championship opposition Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye Field.
Andy Deacon's Foresters raced into a three-try lead, courtesy of scores from wing Nev Codlin, centre Sam Hanks and fly-half Mark Davies.
Laurie McGlone bagged two quick tries to bring the Pirates back into the match before Joel Conlon's converted score stole the lead for the Cornishmen.
But then Hanks' interception score plundered a 26-21 victory, to leave rugby director Deacon impressed with his Cinderford's pre-season resolve.
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The Dockham Road men then edged past St Austell 17-14 in Saturday's double-header.
And with Cinderford United seeing off National Three South West club Chippenham 34-33, Deacon is confident his men can step into the league season in style.
Cinderford host Rosslyn Park in the National League One opener on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm), with Deacon asking for a repeat of the weekend's opening salvo against the Pirates.
Deacon explained: "We were on fire in the first 20 minutes. We played some great attacking rugby and deservedly took a strong lead.
"The Pirates got right back into the game as you might expect, but we kept ourselves in the fight well.
"And then we were able to claim the victory.
"This will give us a great deal of confidence as we move into the new season.
"The Pirates weren't at full strength, but they probably had about three-quarters of their starting line-up out there, so we are absolutely delighted with the win.
"Mark Davies, captain Gareth Evans and hooker Tom Bozzard all performed particularly well.
"With the win against St Austell and our United side beating Chippenham as well, it's been a great weekend for the club, " said Deacon. "Now we have to carry that through into an extremely testing season opener against Rosslyn Park."
The second 40 minutes of the round robin saw Cinderford overcome a determined St Austell challenge.
Jack Adams's try handed Cinderford an early lead, before Adam Pearce's converted try gave the Cornish side the lead.
Chris Hawkins and Lloyd Stapleton then crossed for the visitors as Cinderford took control, before a late Matt Shepherd try for St Austell set up a tense finish.