The festive break appeared to effect Cinderford more than Cambridge as their edged to an unlikely victory in the Forest of Dean.
That said though the visitors played well in the first-half against a badly out of sorts home team and thoroughly deserved their 8-3 lead at the interval. Outside-half Ben Palmer scored their try when he stepped back inside the cover defence to score. James Butler opened Cinderford’s account when he kicked a penalty, only for Penfold to reply in similar fashion soon afterwards.
The second-half lasted a remarkable 56 minutes and despite being scoreless certainly lacked nothing in drama and at times farce. The opening stages saw a scrummage last almost 10 minutes after numerous re-sets and injuries. After this both teams enjoyed reasonable spells of possession without really threatening a score.
But it was the final quarter that left many observers totally bewildered by the events that unfolded. Finally the home team appeared to be building up some real momentum and when they were a scrummage 5m out they looked to be gaining the upper hand, but five penalties and two yellow cards later quite how the visitors had not conceded a penalty try will remain a mystery to most. After this the scrums went uncontested and when Cinderford did create an overlap at the death they dropped the ball to complete a thoroughly frustrating afternoon for them, but a joyous one for Cambridge.
Cinderford; Ed Sheldon, Sam Smith, Terence Barbarinsa, Jack Hayes (Capt), Ed Bogue, James Butler, Jimmy Williams, Ollie Dawe, Joe Mullis, James Elliot, Jack Shields, Dale Lemon, Matt Lane, Mat Gilbert, Harry Hone. Replacements; George Porter, Tim Brockett, Sam Baker, George Evans, Alex Frame.