Cinderford United 21-10 Barnes 2nds

Cinderford United remain unbeaten in 2015 and achieved a sixth successive Zoo Shield victory after defeating Barnes, from South West London. The game was competitive, physical and energetic without ever really catching fire. Barnes were a committed and resolute side and never took a backward step throughout the 80 minutes and as such the United found them difficult to break down. The United played into the wind in the first half and were forced to go through many phases to make progress. Barnes tackling was outstanding and it took the United 20 minutes of endeavour before scrum half Danny Pointon scored their first points with a penalty goal. The United lost captain Alan Bryan, to a back injury, and young debutant Terence Babarinsa entered the fray. Barnes levelled matters with a penalty goal of their own and with the interval looming the game seemed to be fairly even. However, the United steeled themselves and some superb continuity rugby produced phase after phase and with the ball moved to the right Nathan Green showed wonderful footwork to score in the clubhouse corner. The conversion was missed and with Rob Winchle sin binned just before half time the United faced a tricky start to the second half. They survived several Barnes attacks and with Winchle’s reintroduction began to impose themselves again. Barnes leaked penalties and with the advantage of the wind Pointon punished them with two sweetly struck penalties.

The United’s scrummaging was an important weapon in the game and the impact, on the opposition, was felt in the last quarter. The game was effectively sealed with 15 minutes to go as a driving maul from a close range line out saw the excellent Joe Smart crash over. Pointon made a difficult conversion look easy. Matt Lane made his long awaited return from injury and thrilled the crowd with a cameo moment as his run from the back of the scrum, deep in his own half, took him fully 60 metres up the pitch, close to the Barnes try line, scattering defenders in his wake. However, this was fine work undone as the United were penalized at the subsequent breakdown. The spirt within the Barnes side was outstanding and right on full time they scored the try they richly deserved. Great handling and ambition eventually saw their hooker cross the whitewash as the United ran out of defenders. The successful conversion signaled the end of the game.

Cinderford United; James Butler, Nathan Green, Alan Bryan (Captain) (Terence Babarinsa), Rob Winchle, Harrison Yorke, Tom Law (Ollie Whiting), Danny Pointon, Joe Smart, Sam Baker (Liam Hindmarch), Chris Bundy, Toby Farrier (Angus Hodges), Milo Reynolds, Sam Morse (Matt Lane), Matt Allcock, Jack Shields.

Cinderford Stags 5pts Drybrook United 9

The Stags just lost out in typically hard fought local derby match. Liam Littleton scored their try.