This coming Saturday London Scottish welcomes Cinderford from Gloucestershire. Cinderford turned in a good performance last weekend winning away at Stourbridge 0 – 11, which took them further away from the bottom three in the league. Scottish will be determined to improve on their performance against Wharfedale and maintain their unbeaten run.
The original Cinderford club was formed in 1886 and began playing at their Dockham Road ground in 1894. The fortunes of the club in the early days of its existence was very much tied in with the growth of the local iron and coal industries and due to the club's geographical location, it was soon arranging fixtures against leading clubs of the day in both England & Wales. During the inter-war years the club declined as both the major local industries went into a downward spiral and many of the local players went North to seek fame in Rugby League. The club re-emerged after the Second World War and regained its Dockham Road ground in 1956. Two key characters in the development of the club during this period were Bob & Mary Beavis, who became the first female club Honorary Secretary of a rugby club and remained in post for the next 50 years. Sadly, Mary passed away late last year and is missed by all at the club.
During last summer the Director of Rugby Andy Deacon, who had taken over in April last year went through a large recruitment campaign to improve the fortunes of the club. Fourteen players joined the club, including the ex South African internationalist Jake Boer in a player coaching role from Gloucester. Some of the players joining the club were four players from Lydney, including former captain Paul Price, former player Jake Carter who returned to the club after leaving in 2009 to play in Italy and Martin Knight. Players to keep an eye out for are kicker and full back Danny Trigg who has scored 59 points, after taking over the kicking duties from Mark Woodrow who has moved back to Birmingham & Solihull in the Championship. Winger Nev Codlin is the clubs leading try scorer with 10 touch downs to his name. Other players to look out for are hooker and club Captain Chris Hall, centre Paul Boston and winger Paul Winchie.
This season for Cinderford has been one of frustration. They have been in the lower reaches of the league for most of the season, however since the turn of the year they have turned in a number of good performances. During this period they have defeated Coventry, Tynedale, Blackheath and Stourbridge and currently sit 12th place in the league. In the reverse fixture this season, Scottish recorded a 22 – 25 victory in a close encounter at Dockham Road, with Lewis Calder, Alex Page, Tom Standfield and Alex Clarke scoring the try's.
Scottish go into this match on the same number of points as league leaders Barking and will be focused on recording their nineteenth consecutive victory. The team will be determined to improve on their last outing against Wharfedale and maintain the pressure on the league leaders, however Cinderford will be buoyed up with their win at Stourbridge and will present a strong challenge. The race for the Championship is hotting up and all Scottish supporters are encouraged to get down to the RAA and cheer on the team. Every voice cheering on from the sidelines helps the team tremendously and is appreciated by the players and the coaching staff alike. See you all there.