PLYMOUTH ALBION 5-18 CINDERFORD
By Jack Guthrie
James Scaysbrook’s first home game as Plymouth Albion head coach ended in defeat, as they lost to Division one rivals Cinderford 18-5 after the away side’s “really dominant” performance.
Scaysbrook believed that Albion were not accurate enough when they had their opportunities saying: “that last little bit of skill and composure in the last five meters is what we lacked.”
Fullback Dan Powell also felt that the loss of captain Herbie Stupple in the first half was crucial in the game commenting: “Herbie’s so influential and he’s so strong in the forward game especially like today, he’ll be looking to go again next year.”
Albion struggled in the first half. It took nine minutes for the first score of the game as James Butler scored a penalty in front of the sticks, followed up minutes later with a Harry Hone converted try from an impeccable driving maul right through the heart of the Albion 22.
Albion managed to hold out for the remainder of the first period but suffered major blows, with Herbie Stupple being forced off injured having only just returned to the starting 15. Shortly following this hooker Jamie Salter was yellow-carded which saw him miss the rest of the half, Plymouth desperately defending to prevent the score from changing.
Coming back from the break Cinderford were awarded another penalty within range, Butler again converting from the tee, stretching the lead to 13. Once again, shortly after the restart, the hosts found themselves backtracking as a line-out following another penalty saw the away side drive a maul over the line, touched down by Nathan Taylor.
Taylor was stretchered off later in the game after receiving treatment for over 10 minutes, which allowed Albion to regroup and reorganise. They looked much more fluid in possession and took the game to the Cinderford forwards. In the dying moments, some powerful drives from the forwards gave enough space on the left wing for substitute Robbie Weeks to dive into the corner, with the conversion missed by Connor Eastgate to end the game.
Despite the shaky performance, Albion will be able to rest easy over the Christmas period in preparation for their next game in two weeks against London side Old Elthamians. As this was only Scaysbrook’s first home game in charge this will surely give time for him to familiarise himself with his new side, as well as allowing injured players to come back into the squad and improve their positional depth.
15. D. Powell 14. S. Raumakita 13. D. Squire 12. J. Pohe 11. A. Ducker 10. C. Eastgate 9. C. Setter 1. J. Higgins 2. J. Salter 3. A. Crouch 4. D. Collier 5. L. Pearson 6. G. Mills 7. D. Swain 8. H. Stupple (C)
16. P. Ingoldsby 18. P. Thompson 19. K. Britton 20. R. Weeks
Tries: R. Weeks
15. E. Sheldon 14. S. Smith 23. W. Mansfield 12. J. Hayes 11. E. Bogue 10. J. Butler 13. J. Dean 1. T. Brockett 2. N. Taylor 3. J. Elliott 4. T. Jerrum 5. D. Lemon 6. M. Lane 7. J. Mullis 8. H. Hone
16. C. Bundy 19. M. Gilbert 20. M. Bennett 25. A. Frame 22. T. Barbarinsa
Tries: N. Taylor, H. Hone
Convs: J. Butler
Pens: J. Butler (2)