Cinderford defied the odds to overturn a 29-11 deficit early in the second-half and complete a tremendous victory over league high-fliers Bishop’s Stortford.
Making their first ever visit to their opponents Silver Leys ground, Cinderford made the perfect start to the match when winger Harry Robinson cut back inside the cover defence to go over for an unconverted try. The home side soon responded and levelled the scores when second-row Matt Tomlinson forced his way over from close range following an attacking lineout.
A penalty from James Moffat briefly put the visitors back in front, but Stortford replied with a second try from Tomlinson, with Tom Banks landing the conversion. The game continued to well balanced, with Banks and Moffat exchanging penalties as the interval approached. Cinderford were unfortunate to knock the ball on over their opponents try line, before in an extended period in injury time Stortford scored a third try, when full-back Will Simmonds gathered a chip ahead and outpaced the cover defence to score, with Banks converting.
The match looked to have swung decisively in the home side’s favour early in the second half when winger Jimmy Rea scored his team’s bonus point try, from a well executed move, with Banks again converting. However Cinderford were in no mood to concede defeat just yet and they produced a stunning fightback in the final quarter to eventually prevail.
Using their forward driving game to good effect they went through numerous phases before prop George Porter forced his way over for a try from close range, with Moffat landing the conversion.
More sustained pressure near their opponents line then eventually led to replacement Jimmy Williams crossing for an unconverted try in the corner. It was all Cinderford now as they dominated territory and possession in the closing stages, a penalty was kicked into the corner to set up an attacking lineout and it was Porter again who crashed over for his second try, with Moffat converting well under pressure to give his side a one point lead.
There was still time for the home side to respond, but the visitors were determined not to let the chance of a hard earned victory slip from their grasp, and they forced a turnover to bring an end to the match.
Cinderford; James Moffat, Sam Goatley, Reuben Norville, Rob Winchle, Harry Robinson, Liam Hemming, Clive Stuart-Smith, George Porter (Capt.), Henry Walker, James Tideswell, Dale Lemon, Ed King, Aaron Ryan, Will Keenan, Jack Shields.
Replacements; Joe Smart, Marcus Brown, Adam Balding, George Evans, Jimmy Williams.