Stefan Hawley converted a last minute try from Joe Mullis to seal a dramatic comeback victory for Cinderford at the Northern Echo Arena after they had trailed 16-0 at the interval.
The home side were quickly onto the offensive with only some desperate defending keeping them at bay, but a penalty was awarded and Warren Seals opened the scoring after four minutes of play. More pressure in their opponents territory then eventually led to winger Brandon Asher-Wood scoring a well taken try, which Seals converted and he soon made it 13-0 with his second penalty. Cinderford then enjoyed a better spell of play, but they were unable to open their account and a breakaway downfield resulted in another penalty which Seals successfully kicked to complete the scoring in the first-half.
The half-time team talk seemed to have a positive effect on the Foresters and a series of pick and goes close to their opponents try line saw flanker Matt Gilbert force his way over, with James Butler adding the conversion. A fine break from Butler once again took play deep into the DMP 22 and some good handling saw Mullis dive over for a try under the posts, which Butler converted. The momentum of the match had certainly swung toward the visitors and they continued to press forward resulting in Butler twice landing penalties to put his team ahead. Seals reduced the deficit to one point when he kicked his fourth penalty and then a chip ahead bounced kindly for winger Callum Mackenzie who looked to have scored a match winning try for Park, which Seals converted.
However, it was Cinderford who showed terrific team spirit as they went in search of a first-ever victory at the Arena and when James Dean broke down the blindside a high tackle brought them a penalty, which was kicked into the corner. From the lineout a twelve man driving maul saw Mullis score his second try and give Hawley the chance to snatch it, and he held his nerve to land the conversion.
Cinderford; Ed Sheldon, Sam Smith, Will Mansfield, Terence Babarinsa, Timi Olopade, James Butler, Alex Frame, Joe Smart, George Porter (Capt.), Tim Brockett, Tyler Jerrum, Dale Lemon, Matthew Gilbert, Joe Mullis, George Evans. Replacements; James Elliot, Sam Baker, James Dean, Stefan Hawley, Lewis Beer.