It was very much an end of season performance from Cinderford as they slipped to disappointing defeat at Barnstaple.
The home side were desperate to get a victory as they look to secure their place in National 2 (South) next season, and with the backing of a large and vociferous crowd they achieved their aim as their opponents lacked enough intensity in their play. Cinderford started well, and although Jordan Petherbridge kicked a penalty to put the home side ahead after nine minutes, they were on top for much of the first-half. Resolute defence and poor execution from the visitors meant that Barnstaple went into the interval 6-0 up after a second penalty from Petherbridge.
The match finally sprung into life after the re-start when home winger Linford Brock showed good pace to score the game’s opening try in the corner. Petherbridge converted well from the touchline, and then exchanged penalties with James Moffat before quick hands from Cinderford created the space for Aaron Ryan to score an unconverted try. Barnstaple hit back immediately however, when a sweeping move ended with a try for centre Jake Murphy.
The visitors scored their second try late in the game, when Joe Smart went over from a lineout catch and drive, but the conversion was missed and they had too much ground to make up as the home side ran down the clock to earn themselves a much needed victory.
Cinderford; Dan Trigg, Harrison Yorke, Reuben Hinds, Sam Goatley, Eamonn Rees, James Moffat, Jimmy Williams, George Porter (Capt.), Will Haly, James Tideswell, Dale Lemon, Ed King, Aaron Ryan, Marcus Brown, Will Keenan.
Replacements; Joe Smart, Tom Bozzard, Matt Lane, Dan Broady, Alex Frame.