Jonny May signs off his last game at Kingsholm with a try as Gloucester thrash Newcastle Falcons

Departing winger Jonny May was amongst the eight different try-scorers for Gloucester on Saturday as the home side picked up some momentum ahead of their Challenge Cup final next weekend with a comfortable 54-14 win over dismal Newcastle Falcons.

May, who looks set to leave for France next season, scored his 74th try for the club in his 192nd appearance to cement his place amongst the club's greats. After last week’s 90-0 humiliation at the hands of Northampton at Franklin's Gardens, the Cherry and Whites attack clicked into gear against their significantly less challenging opponents this weekend, with Zach Mercer, Chris Harris, Charlie Atkinson, Ollie Thorley, Seb Blake, May, Alex Hearle and Josh Hathaway breaching the Newcastle defence with Caolan Englefield converting five. Stephen Varney and Santiago Socino each added a conversion.

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Newcastle finished the Gallagher Premiership season without a single win as Gloucester to followed in the footsteps of Rotherham in 2003-04 and London Welsh 2014-15, who also failed to record victories in a league season and this latest reverse left Falcons with a mere five points from their 18 league fixtures. Jamie Blamire and Matias Moroni scored Falcons tries at Kingsholm, both of which Brett Connon converted.

Newcastle began brightly but it was their opponents who opened the scoring. Their first attack saw acres of space created for Charlie Atkinson to race into the visitors’ 22 from where Mercer was on hand to force his way over. Englefield converted before Gloucester scored an excellent second try. Deep inside his own half, Harris chipped ahead for Hathaway to collect before returning the ball to Harris, who ran 35 metres to the line.

Minutes later, Newcastle’s early woes continued when the hosts took advantage of a couple of favourable bounces for Atkinson to win the race to touchdown, with a third conversion from Englefield giving Gloucester a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Newcastle needed a swift response and got one when Blamire finished off a driving line-out but Gloucester soon picked up their bonus-point try when a break from Englefield set up Thorley. However Falcons kept in contention at half-time with a try from Moroni but they still trailed 26-14 at the interval.

A minute after the restart, Gloucester extended that advantage when Blake crashed over from a driving line-out before May celebrated his final home appearance for the club with his side’s sixth, diving over in the corner to extinguish any Newcastle’s hopes of a shock result.

Ahead of next week’s European Challenge Cup final against the Sharks, Gloucester replaced some of their leading lights, with skipper Lewis Ludlow and impressive scrum-half Englefield both departing as Argentina hooker Socino came on for his final appearance at Kingsholm. Socino brought the crowd to their feet with a 30-metre burst before Falcons lock Tim Cardall was sin binned with eight minutes remaining.

The home side immediately capitalised with a try from Hearle and then another from Hathaway to emphasize their superiority over a spirited but limited Newcastle.

Gloucester Rugby: 15. Josh Hathaway*, 14. Jonny May*, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Seb Atkinson*, 11. Ollie Thorley*, 10. Charlie Atkinson, 9. Caolan Englefield, 1. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2. Seb Blake*, 3. Kirill Gotovtsev, 4. Freddie Clarke*, 5. Freddie Thomas*, 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow* (C), 8. Zach Mercer

Replacements: 16. Santi Socino, 17. Mayco Vivas, 18. Ciaran Knight*, 19. Albert Tuisue, 20. Jack Clement*, 21. Stephen Varney*, 22. Alex Hearle, 23. Jake Morris*

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Louis Brown, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Cameron Hutchison, 11 Ben Redshaw, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Eduardo Bello, 4 Tim Cardall, 5 John Hawkins, 6 Sam Cross, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Callum Chick (captain).

Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Adam Scott, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 James Elliott, 22 Rory Jennings, 23 Oli Spencer.

Referee: Sara Cox

Assistant referees: Joe James and Peter Allan

TMO: Dean Richards