In a match of two hugely contrasting halves Cinderford were left kicking themselves after letting a 17-0 interval lead slip on their first-ever visit to Loughborough.

Mike Wilcox kicked an early penalty for Cinderford, before Jack Adams showed good skills to cross for a try which Wilcox converted. The Students had plenty of possession but they were taken aback by their opponents aggressive style of defence. A lineout catch and drive then saw the visitors increase their lead further with hooker Stuart Bailey claiming the try which was converted by Wilcox.

The second-half saw the Students emerge with much more positive intent and they soon reduced the deficit when second-row Matt Rogerson gathered a tapped ball at a lineout and raced clear to score a try which Matt Hall converted.

A raft of changes and subsequent injuries badly disrupted Cinderford’s game plan, and the home side took advantage to add a second try through Chris Kinloch, which Hall converted. Wilcox briefly put his team back in the ascendancy with his second penalty to make it 14-20, but the home side took the lead for the first in the match when Rhys Owen raced over with Hall again converting.

The Students claimed a try scoring bonus point when Jordan Brookes touched down, again bettered by Hall. Replacement Stefan Hawley scored a fine individual try for Cinderford in the closing stages, but there was no time for them to mount another attack before the final whistle went.

CINDERFORD: K Done; S Caven, J Adams, R Winchle (Frame, 75), L Stapleton; M Wilcox, D Pointon; L Green (Brooks, half-time), S Bailey, N Selway (Heard, 57); B West (Hawley, 63), D Critchley (McKee, 57); L Allen, W Foden, J Garner. Replacements: T Heard, J Brooks, D McKee, A Frame, S Hawley.