Luctonians 2nd XV 10-20 Cinderford United

Cinderford United emerged victorious in a hugely entertaining and compelling encounter against tough opponents Luctonians. The first quarter saw both sides attack each other with real intent and aggressive defence from both sides meant ball retention became a precious commodity. Cinderford United were convinced they had taken the lead when excellent centre Danny Chappell sent the long striding left wing Pete Towers cantering towards the home line with an adroit inside pass. However, the referee was unable to see Towers ground the ball as a Luctonians defender produced a smothering tackle.

Disappointed but undaunted the United continued to give as good as they received from their fired up opponents. Danny Trigg gave the visitors the lead with a fine penalty goal from the Luctonians 10 metre line as the game entered the second quarter. With less than 10 minutes of the half to play Luctonians forced several excellent field positions deep into Cinderford territory. From an attacking 5 metre scrummage the home achieved a huge shunt forward and their alert scrum half burrowed his way over to score an unconverted try. The United’s response was immediate and from a line out inside the Luctonians 22 fly half Stefan Hawley sent right wing Josh Hannam on an angled run with a switch pass and the winger scored a fine try under the posts. Trigg converted but on the stroke of half time an innocuous looking Luctonians kick ahead proved elusive for the United cover defence and from out of the blue a speculative fly hack enabled the home side to pounce on a loose ball for a second unconverted try and a 10-10 interval score line.

The United sought to up their tempo in the third quarter but although they dominated territorially they found it difficult to break down their rugged and zealous opponents. They looked to have scored from a driving maul following a line out but for the second time the referee felt he could not give a try from the position he was in. Trigg kicked a second penalty to give the United the lead again. With ten minutes left the United were repelled at several close range line outs as they strived for the clinching score. A poor put in at a 5 metre scrummage, from the home line, on their own feed allowed the home side to clear to half way and a subsequent penalty was cheaply given away by the United and all of a sudden the home side were camped on the United line sensing victory.

The United remained composed and despite wave after wave of Luctonians assaults the United defence remained unbreached. With a minute left they forced a knock on by the home side inside the last 5 metres and from the resulting scrummage United No 8 Ben Sparks tore into the Luctonians midfield and offloaded to centre Dewi Scourfield. The ball was moved to the right as the United backs took the ball to the half way line. The ball was moved back to the left and outstanding No 8 Ben Sparks took the final pass and with a fine hand off ran in from 30 metres to score a quite brilliant try under the Luctonians posts. Trigg easily converted and the United had survived and clinched a very hard earned victory.

Cinderford United; Danny Trigg, Josh Hannam. Danny Chappell, Dewi Scourfield, Pete Towers, Stefan Hawley, Jack O’Connell, Joe Smart, Chris Bundy, Nick Selway (Captain), Georges Tertois (Neil Bunce), Keiran Stubley (Roger Birkin), Mitch Bourne, Jake Kitson, Ben Sparks. Replacement (not used); Jack Wakefield