Cinderford came through a high scoring classic, against Bishop’s Stortford as the hosts came from behind to clinch victory with two tries in the final 10 minutes and maintain their place at the top of National One.

The Forest team were made to work hard for their victory, however, as it was the visitor’s who started brightest to lead 27-12 after half an hour’s play.  Stortford opened the scoring when Tom Walker landed a penalty, before Cinderford’s Will Hendy managed to create some attacking space which eventually led to the first try of the match from Jamie Forrester.  The visitors were rewarded for a patient attack as they crashed over from close range with Seb Brownhill scoring the try that made it 10-5.  Stortford scored their second try of the match through Rory Banks after slick work at a 22-metre line out.

After more patient work from Cinderford, it was Hendy who stepped his way around the visitor’s defence to grab the host’s second try.  Stortford’s lead grew further, after a penalty from Walker and then a snipe round the breakdown from scrum-half Samuel Bryan who offloaded to winger Cole Swannack. The home side responded well with two further tries before half-time from Will Baldwin and Joe Dancer, which Liam Hemming converted.

Half time 24-29.

It was Cinderford who started the second half the strongest scoring first after the half-time through Matt Lane, with Hemming on target with the conversion.  Bishop’s Stortford replied straight away with Walker going over after some more patient build-up play making it 32-31 to the visitors.  Cinderford regained the lead in what was becoming a try-fest, and again it was the driving maul that gave Cinderford the points with replacement Joe Mullis touching down.

Stortford were still in no mood to concede defeat though and they scored their fifth and final try of the match through James Apperley after some terrific handling.  However, with the game in the balance, the hosts scored a further two tries in the closing ten minutes as Joe Dancer completed a memorable hat-trick, with Hemming adding both conversions and a penalty to bring an end to a thrilling encounter.

Cinderford; Mike Wilcox, Will Baldwin, Jamie Forrester, George Boulton, Will Hendy, Liam Hemming, Mike Austin, George Porter, Nathan Taylor, James Elliot, George Evans, Joe Dancer, Matt Lane, Aaron Ryan, Harry Hone.

Repls; Tim Brockett, Jack Preece Joe Mullis, Tyler Jerrum, Clive Stuart-Smith.