Cinderford United remain unbeaten in the Zoo Shield in 2015 with victory over a determined and resolute Barnes side from south-west London. The game was played at a frenetic pace throughout and mistakes only added to the end to end fayre on view. Barnes were first on the scoreboard with an early penalty goal but this was soon neutralised by United fly half James Moffat who levelled the scores. The United were the first side to impose some consistent pressure and a multi-phase passage of play eventually saw Moffat ghost in under the posts. His conversion was a formality. Barnes hit back and a slick three-quarter move led to a try for their left winger and a fine conversion levelled the scores at 10-10. United back rower Matt Lane was sin binned for a tip tackle and the United were suddenly under pressure. They cheaply conceded a line out near their own line and Barnes executed several phases to score a second unconverted try and subsequently took the lead. Restored to a full fifteen the United played some of their best rugby in the period leading to half time. A quickly taken tap penalty by outstanding scrum half Alex Frame saw him and Moffat put left wing Harrison Yorke away for a fine try and Moffat’s conversion regained the lead for the United. Shortly before half time another multi phase United attack saw forwards and backs combine and loose head Joe Smart’s constant hard work was rewarded with a third United try. Moffat converted.
Barnes began the second half as they did the first half with a penalty goal. The introduction of Sam Morse, Jack Shields and Will Hodgetts from the bench gave the United some extra vigour and Lane, now in the second row, showed outstanding pace and power to break free and score from forty metres out. Moffat converted. However, the United could not quell a Barnes outfit exuding pride and passion and again the home side hit back with an interception try as the United became guilty of overplaying in their own twenty two. The conversion was charged down by a repentant United chase. Lane, now in the second row, added a second try as his influence on the game continued. Moffat’s metronomic boot added the two points. The United finally looked to have killed the game off as Moffat’s inch perfect long pass allowed Yorke to again demonstrate his pace and his finishing prowess for his second try. Moffat finally missed with the boot. However, far from an easy finish to the game the United had to survive an onslaught by a home side that just refused to lie down. Barnes were rewarded with a converted try and in truth could have scored another but for last ditch United defending. However, the United had done enough for a tenth league win in a row.
Cinderford United; Tom Law, Jack Richards, Ollie Whiting, Alan Bryan, Harrison Yorke, James Moffat, Alex Frame, Joe Smart, Sam Baker, Jake Caulfield, Toby Farrier, Angus Hodges, Chris Morse, Matt Allcock, Matt Lane. Replacements (all used on rotation); Sam Morse, Will Hodgetts, Jack Shields, Liam Littleton, Tom Ward.