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CINDERS CAN ONLY WATCH ON AS LIONS HAVE A BALLSat 09 Feb

Several players put their hand up for first team selection after a hugely creditable win over Cinderford United (2nd XV) in Saturday’s ‘Development XV’ fixture.

Fielding a side made up of senior players returning from injury and those on the fringes of the first team squad, Lions got the scoring underway in the 18th-minute when Argentinean No.8 Santiago Sanchez-Pulgar picked up at the base of an advancing scrum and pounced over the line.

Indeed, set-piece dominance continued throughout the game despite the Foresters’ traditions of being strong up front. Ben Buxton, who returned from a loan spell at Bedford to play in the fixture, enjoyed his afternoon’s work at the coalface, as did former Heineken Cup winner and fellow prop Nick Adams.

Cinderford responded almost immediately to going behind when, on 20 minutes, a fine pass by visiting captain Chris Jones sent Jake Kitson in for a try. Danny Trigg converted. It was the only time that the Lions’ otherwise water-tight defence would be breached.

After that, though, it was pretty much one-way traffic and two tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half were just reward for the amount of pressure applied by the Lions.

Young Harry Ellis scorched past four would-be tacklers from his own 22 for a fine solo effort and then, with half-time fast approaching, another break from the outside centre led to the Lions’ third try. Ellis passed to Jack Young, who offloaded underarm to wing Dave Clements to set up a score in the corner, which was successful converted to make the score 19-7 at the interval.

Lions found Cinderford a tough nut to crack in the second period and were only able to add one further score. It came on 52 minutes from a well-executed line-out move which saw the backs cut good lines and display good passing skills to put wing Robert Brown away in the far corner. An excellent game played in the right way by both sides ended 24-7 to the Lions, who became only the second side this season to beat Cinderford United.

A rematch is planned at Dockham Road on December 10th when it is hoped that the Lions’ strength in depth as a squad will again be evident.

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