Rosslyn Park go third as Whelan kicks Cinderford aside for hard earned victory

Cinderford 17-19 Rosslyn Park

Tom Whelan scored all 19 points in a hard-fought victory over Cinderford on Saturday to help Park move third in the League.

An early try was exactly what head coach Alex Codling had been hoping for and fly-half Whelan duly delivered as he opened the scoring with a converted try after 15 minutes to maximise the early advantage.

The only other try of the game came through Cinderford skipper Mike Wilcox just ten minutes later, his effort put the home side 8-7 ahead, a lead they held on to until late on.

Park boss Codling said: “There were a number of opportunities we didn’t finish off which is frustrating but any win away from home is pleasing and this victory was hard earned,

“Despite playing into a strong wind in the first half we dominated possession and territory throughout.”

Codling was pleased with his men’s dogged commitment and ambition. Despite taking the early lead, a series of missed chances including Jack Gash’s disallowed try allowed the home side to take a 8-7 lead in at half time.

It appeared to set the tone for a long afternoon in Gloucestershire as a shaky start to the second half saw Park fall further behind through two Mark Davies penalties.

In response, the impressive Tom Whelan dealt well with the blustery conditions, kicking 12 points after the break to cancel out the early second-half pressure that Cinderford applied.

The home side lead until the 65th minute, the two teams exchanging penalties and swapping leads once more before Whelan converted a stoppage time penalty, awarded following a high tackle on Joe Ajuwa, to put Park 17-19 up.

“I was very pleased with the step up in intensity in defence. Their only try came from a kick through from a turnover in their 22.“ added boss Codling.

“Fair play to Cinderford, they worked tirelessly for the full 80 minutes but in the end I feel we got the win that the performance deserved.”

This coming Saturday Rosslyn Park play host neighbours Richmond, who sit just behind Park in fourth place in the National 1.

Codling said: “Our defence will be severely tested with the visit of our neighbours Richmond this Saturday, both sides have had an excellent start to the season and this should make for a cracking local derby,

“The support at the Rock has been fantastic so far this season and that along with the approval of the ground improvements means there is a real buzz around the club.”

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