Hair-dryer blast blows Tynedale off course
Published at 09:12, Monday, 23 April 2012
Cinderford 43, Tynedale 14.
HOPES that Tynedale’s horrendous run of defeats was about to come to an end turned to ashes on Saturday.
They were leading Cinderford 14-3 at half time, and looking good to halt a run of seven successive defeats.
However, a half-time salvo of Sir Alex proportions could be clearly heard echoing round the Cinderford dressing.
And in the second half, the chastened men from the Forest of Dean simply swept Tynedale aside with an awesome display of power rugby.
They scored 40 points without reply, three of them from local folk hero George Evans.
It was a disappointing end to a day in the Forest of Dean which had promised much for Tynedale.
They had beaten Cinderford comfortably at home, and with Joel Hodgson in fine form at fly half, looked well capable of doing it again.
However, they were still a much weakened side, bereft of a host of injury victims and lambing farmers.
Young Jamie Harrison, brother of injured skipper Jack, was on the wing, and on the bench were unknowns Scott Wilson and Dan Lowden.
Tynedale battled hard, and there were notable performances from burly hooker George McGuigan, and lock Graeme Dunn.
The half back pairing also did well, with Harry Peck his usual gadfly self at scrum half, while Hodgson gave another classy performance, landing all Tynedale’s points with a try and three penalties.
But once again, Tynedale’s Achilles heel was the line-out catch and drive, which they are worryingly unable to resist.
Tynedale started well on a grey but windless day, with Hodgson finding a good touch 10 metres from the Cinderford line in the opening minute.
Dunn climbed well to claim the ball, and Tynedale drove on well.
However, when the ball was released, Hodgson hurled out a venomous bullet pass which was too hot for blind side flanker Myles Scott to hold.
The boot was on the other foot on seven minutes, when Cinderford kicked a penalty to the Tynedale line.
They mounted a series of forward drives, but the Tynedale defence held firm.
On 10 minutes, centre Harry Mountain let fly with a drop goal attempt from 30 metres, which was well wide of the target.
However, Mountain was well aware the referee was playing an advantage from an earlier infringement, and play was returned to the site of the sinning, just outside the 22.
Hodgson’s kick was on target, and Tynedale were ahead.
However, Cinderford were soon back on terms, when misdemeanours at a scrum cost Tynedale a penalty which fly half Rory Teague clipped over.
From the restart, Cinderford put in a decent kick to the corner, but a knock-on let Tynedale off the hook.
Tynedale had a chance to go back in front on 20 minutes when Cinderford came in at the side of a maul, but Hodgson’s long-distance effort was just the wrong side of the post.
But there was no stopping the blond bomber on 28 minutes, when he produced a delicate grubber kick into the Cinderford 22, and won the race to the touchdown.
He missed the difficult conversion attempt, but Tynedale led 8-3.
Hodgson landed another penalty on 33 minutes from in front of the posts, and with a minute of normal time left, landed another when Cinderford were offside.
So Tynedale went in at half time feeling delighted with a 14-3 lead, and equally pleased they were not in the Cinderford dressing room, where all hell was breaking loose.
It is unclear whether tea cups were thrown, or hair dryers switched to turbo boost, but it was a different Cinderford that came out for the second half.
They were determined to make amends for their shoddy first half showing – and did so with a vengeance.
Teague put a penalty just wide in the opening minute, but Tynedale were back on the attack after four minutes.
A penalty was kicked deep into the 22 – but crucially, the line-out throw was not straight.
That made it advantage Cinderford, and it was one-way traffic from there on in.
On 11 minutes, number eight Evans broke down the blind side from a scrum, and powered his way over for Cinderford’s opening try.
It wasn’t converted but the Gloucester outfit had their tails up.
Four minutes later, Cinderford had a line-out 10 metres out, and a well-rehearsed catch and drive routine ended with hooker Sam Wilkes twisting his way over for the second try.
It was wide out, but Teague converted to nudge Cinderford in front by a single point.
Tynedale brought on young England prop Scott Wilson for Alex Westgarth, but he was unable to prevent Evans rumbling over for his second try from a line-out on 20 minutes.
Teague converted ti make it 22-14.
Tynedale rang the changes, with Dominic Shaw coming on for Peck, and Jamie Harrison was replaced by the veteran Will Massey.
Massey went to full back, with Hamish Smales moving up to the wing.
Tynedale were now powerless to stop the onslaught and 26 minutes into the half, from a scrum on the Tynedale 22, the ball was moved wide for centre Simeon James to race through under the posts for the bonus point try, with Teague again adding the extras.
Evans soon completed his hat-trick, much to the approval of the home crowd, Teague again converting.
Tynedale’s misery still wasn’t over for with five minutes left, they were left chasing shadows as Pete Towers finished off a flowing move for try number six.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1885Saturday, June 20th, 1885
Over 2,000 people attended the Temperance Gala held at Greencroft Park, Haltwhistle.
Led by the Bardon Mill Brass Band, 12 temperance societies paraded through the town, prior to an open air meeting in the park.
During the event the Rev. J.M. Russel condemned the House of Commons for rejecting a proposal to increase taxes on spirits and beer.