Cinderford overcame a strong challenge from Bishops Stortford in a game of few scoring opportunities that highlighted the defensive qualities of both teams.
The visitors made the better start the match but were unable to find a way through and when Cinderford finally made some progress debutant outside-half George Barton opened the scoring with a penalty in the 23rd minute. The home scrummage was on top throughout and when they were awarded another penalty a kick into the corner set up an attacking lineout and hooker Nathan Taylor was driven over for an unconverted try to make it 8-0, which proved to be the score at the interval.
Once again it was Stortford who pressed forward from the re-start and when the ball fell loose over the home line No8 Gary Kingham was the quickest to react and be awarded a try, which Brad Burr converted. More pressure on near their opponents try line saw the visitors edge ahead when Burr landed a penalty, but this was soon cancelled out when a late tackle on Barton saw him restore his side’s advantage with the resulting penalty.
As the match went into its closing stages Cinderford enjoyed a good spell of pressure and a 5m scrum saw them push their opponents back over the line for No8 Harry Hone to a try, which was well converted by Barton. Burr rescued a losing bonus point for Stortford when he landed a penalty with the last kick of the match.
Cinderford; Ed Sheldon, Sam Smith, Terence Babarinsa, Jack Hayes (Capt), Ed Bogue, George Barton, Alex Frame, Ollie Dawe, Nathan Taylor, Tim Brockett, Tyler Jerrum, Dale Lemon, Jack Shields, Joe Mullis, Harry Hone.
Replacements; James Elliot, Lewis Beer, Matt Bennett, Jimmy Williams, James Butler.