Cinderford gave league high-fliers Old Elthamians a real scare before being edged out in a pulsating National League Two South encounter.

The first half began badly for the visitors when their opponents returned a poor kick at pace to put winger Alex Brown away for the opening try, which Tom White converted. Cinderford responded well though and quick hands created the space for Eamonn Rees to go over for an unconverted try. Then an attacking lineout was taken on by the forwards and prop James Tideswell was driven over for a try which James Moffat converted.

A strong run from Harry Robinson took play deep into OE’s territory and scrum-half Jimmy Williams was quickly through to score a well taken try, which Moffat again converted.  In an extended period of play at the end of the first half White landed a penalty to reduce Cinderford’s lead to 17-10 at the interval.

The home side caught their opponents cold at the start of the second-half and second-row Ian Kench went over an unconverted try. Elthamians continued to run the ball at every opportunity but this proved to be their undoing when Liam Hemming intercepted a pass and sprinted clear to score his team’s bonus point try, which Moffat converted.  White landed his second penalty, before converting an excellent try from Ollie Claxton to nudge OE’s ahead once again.

In the gathering gloom Cinderford put their opponents under sustained pressure in dying minutes, but they were held up short and the referee’s decision went against them at the ensuing scrum enabling OE’s to put the ball into touch and finish the match.

Cinderford; James Moffat, Eamonn Rees, Reuben Norville, Rob Winchle, Harry Robinson, Liam Hemming, Jimmy Williams, George Porter, Henry Walker, James Tideswell, Jack Shields, Dale Lemon, Aaron Ryan, Will Keenan, Matt Lane.

Replacements; Joe Smart, Will Haly, Adam Balding, Marcus Brown, Alex Frame.