Cinderford edged out Old Elthamians in a tense affair that remained in the balance right up until the final whistle.
The visitors were on top in the early stages and a well-executed lineout catch and drive saw them open the scoring after seven minutes with an unconverted try from prop Austin Hay. The home side soon replied in similar fashion when hooker Joe Mullis went over, with Dan Pointon adding the conversion. OE’s responded with their second try to re-take the lead with second-row Adam Batt going over, which Ollie Bryant converted.
A yellow card for visiting prop Tom Concu saw Cinderford take full advantage of the extra man with two well-taken tries before the interval. First after a sustained spell of pressure the ball was eventually moved out wide and when Ed Bogue broke through his pass put Sam Smith away to score after 36 minutes. Then more good handling saw full-back Ed Sheldon step back inside the cover defence to score, with Pointon converting to make 24-12 at the interval.
The second-half turned into a battle of attrition between the forwards, with the visitors having the better of the territory. Bryant was able to reduce the deficit with two penalties in the 55th and 60th minutes, but Cinderford defended resolutely and were not to be denied a first-ever victory over their opponents.
Cinderford; Ed Sheldon, Sam Smith, Terence Babarinsa, Jack Hayes (Capt), Ed Bogue, Dan Pointon, Jimmy Williams, Ollie Dawe, Nathan Taylor, Tim Brockett, Jack Shields, Dale Lemon, Matt Lane, Matt Gilbert, Harry Hone.
Replacements; James Elliot, Joe Mullis, Jonny Holliday, James Dean, Will Mansfield.