On a sunny autumnal morning Cinderford travelled to Stroud seeking to set the record straight after the controversial last meeting of the two sides.
Stroud started the more lively of the two sides, with Cinderford looking decidedly rusty not having played for three weeks. Stroud were quick to take advantage of this scoring from a quickly taken tap penalty, with the Cinderford players still half asleep.
This try seemed to be an alarm call to the Cinderford team and it only took a few minutes to work an overlap on the right hand side and score under the posts.
The next twenty minutes were a bit of an arm wrestle with neither side dominating. From a missed Cinderford kick to touch, Stroud drove up the left hand side and eventually managed to cross in the far corner. As with the first Stroud try this seemed to galvanise the Cinderford side into action, a knock on from Stroud deep in their own 22 led to an attacking scrum for Cinderford, a pick and drive led to Cinderford scoring out wide.
Half time score: Stroud 12 Cinderford 12
Cinderford started the second half with more intensity, driving deep into the Stroud 22, the forwards retained possession and when the ball was eventually released a pin point kick found the Cinderford centre unmarked on the wing who crossed for most simple of touch downs.
Despite Cinderford now having the upper hand and their forwards starting exert some control, it didn’t take long for Stroud to level the scores with some weak tackling letting in the Stroud centre to score under the post.
Cinderford then took the lead again with a try very similar to their previous one, the forwards set up the position and a kick for the wing to score.
Not having learnt the lesson from the previous Stroud try, Cinderford then failed to get a hand on the Stroud fly-half who scored under the posts.
With the game all square Cinderford started to play some controlled rugby. Stroud were pinned in their own corner by an accurate touch kick. From a drive from ensuing line out Cinderford forced their way over in the corner to take the lead once more.
With time running out Cinderford penned Stroud deep inside their 22 and eventually the ref blew for full time.
Final Score: Stroud 24 Cinderford 29
Cinderford were far from their best, making too many unforced errors, which is perhaps understandable given that they hadn’t played for three weeks. However it’s the sign of a good side that you can dog it out when needed.
Special thanks to the ref who had a fine game.