Cinderford secured a bonus point victory on their first-ever visit to Wimbledon, but their lowly hosts produced a battling display to make them work very hard for the result.
The visitors were straight onto the attack from the kick-off and winger Reuben Norville showed good skills to finish off a flowing move and score his tenth try of the season, which Liam Hemming converted. More pressure near their opponent’s try line saw Cinderford increase their lead after 15 minutes, when second-row George Evans forced his way over, with Hemming landing the conversion.
Wimbledon responded with a try from No8 Kane Alboni, which James Doe converted. Cinderford scored a third try when flanker Matt Lane cut a great line through the middle to go over, with Hemming again on target with the conversion. Just before the interval Doe landed a penalty for the hosts, and he added another soon after the re-start.
Harry Hone went over for the visitor’s bonus point try to make it 26-13, but as the penalty count mounted against them, Cinderford were forced to play the remainder of the match with 14 men after Evans was shown a second yellow card. Home winger Josh Charles went over in the corner and suddenly all the momentum appeared to be with the Londoners, as they put their opponents under immense pressure, however the ball was turned over and a swift counter-attack ended with Stef Hawley scoring a fifth try for the Forest side.
In the gathering gloom Wimbledon scored a late consolation try, when Alboni scored his second, but Doe’s failure to convert meant that his side were unable to claim a losing bonus point.
Cinderford; Stef Hawley, Alex Frame, Terence Babarinsa, Ed Bogue, Reuben Norville, Liam Hemming, Jimmy Williams, Joe Smart (Captain), Sam Baker, James Elliot, George Evans, Dale Lemon, Matt Lane, Aaron Hinkley, Harry Hone.
Replacements; George Porter, Tim Brockett, Matt Bennett, Lewis Beer, Carwyn Penny.