December 21st 2013

Cinderford United won their fourth Zoo London Shield league match, and second in a row, against doughty opponents from Oxfordshire. Cinderford won the toss and opted to play into the teeth of the strong wind. The home side took full advantage of the elements and a lethargic start by the United. Within three minutes Chinnor were ahead as weak Cinderford tackling allowed a far too simple unconverted try to be scored. A penalty goal from half way increased Chinnor’s lead. A very poor first quarter by the United was compounded by a sin binning for second row Milo Reynolds and Chinnor capitalised with a second try this time converted and a fifteen point lead. On the verge of being embarrassed Cinderford responded and young prop Toby Farrier showed great initiative by taking a quick tap penalty and powered over for a try from five metres out. The conversion into the wind was impossible but minutes later the wind became the United’s friend when fly half Tom Law’s clearance kick held up in the wind and bounced kindly for wing Andrew Bulumakau to collect and show electrifying speed to score under the Chinnor posts from inside his own half. Centre Ollie Whiting converted and the home side’s lead was now only three points. Chinnor kicked a second penalty to increase it to six again but the United had endured their ten minutes with fourteen men with a significant 12-3 success. Restored to full strength the United scored a wonderful team try just before half time as they worked ball from their own twenty two with some superb handling. Eventually Bulumakau was sent free by full back Elliott Davies and his unconverted try left the United only one point down at half time.

Chinnor started the second half aggressively but with the wind now behind them the United kept Chinnor pinned in their own half. Whiting struck a penalty to give the visitors the lead for the first time and from then on it was only a matter of time before the United took full control. That it took until the hour mark showed great credit on the home side. The United pounded the home line and after several phases influential number 8 Loti Molitika scored in the corner. Whiting judged the elements brilliantly to add the conversion. Two converted tries in the last ten minutes emphasised the United’s superiority. Replacement prop Seb Merritt had an immediate impact as from a twenty metre scrummage the United shunted the home forwards back for an impressive pushover try, credited to Molitika. With the game won the United continued to press and Captain Alan Bryan finished things off with a sixth try. Whiting converted both tries.

Cinderford United; Elliott Davies, Chance Ridler (Jack Richards), Ollie Whiting, Alan Bryan (Captain), Andrew Bulumakau, Tom Law, Alex Frame, Toby Farrier, Michael Davies (Seb Merritt), Mike Baldwin, Milo Reynolds, Sam Morse (Ashley Brown), Lance Randall, Josh Buggea, Loti Molitika.