Cinderford defied the odds to overturn a 29-11 deficit early in the second-half and complete a tremendous victory over league high-fliers Bishop’s Stortford.

Making their first ever visit to their opponents Silver Leys ground, Cinderford made the perfect start to the match when winger Harry Robinson cut back inside the cover defence to go over for an unconverted try.  The home side soon responded and levelled the scores when second-row Matt Tomlinson forced his way over from close range following an attacking lineout.

A penalty from James Moffat briefly put the visitors back in front, but Stortford replied with a second try from Tomlinson, with Tom Banks landing the conversion.  The game continued to well balanced, with Banks and Moffat exchanging penalties as the interval approached.  Cinderford were unfortunate to knock the ball on over their opponents try line, before in an extended period in injury time Stortford scored a third try, when full-back Will Simmonds gathered a chip ahead and outpaced the cover defence to score, with Banks converting.

The match looked to have swung decisively in the home side’s favour early in the second half when winger Jimmy Rea scored his team’s bonus point try, from a well executed move, with Banks again converting.  However Cinderford were in no mood to concede defeat just yet and they produced a stunning fightback in the final quarter to eventually prevail.

Using their forward driving game to good effect they went through numerous phases before prop George Porter forced his way over for a try from close range, with Moffat landing the conversion.
More sustained pressure near their opponents line then eventually led to replacement Jimmy Williams crossing for an unconverted try in the corner.  It was all Cinderford now as they dominated territory and possession in the closing stages, a penalty was kicked into the corner to set up an attacking lineout and it was Porter again who crashed over for his second try, with Moffat converting well under pressure to give his side a one point lead.

There was still time for the home side to respond, but the visitors were determined not to let the chance of a hard earned victory slip from their grasp, and they forced a turnover to bring an end to the match.

Cinderford; James Moffat, Sam Goatley, Reuben Norville, Rob Winchle, Harry Robinson, Liam Hemming, Clive Stuart-Smith, George Porter (Capt.), Henry Walker, James Tideswell, Dale Lemon, Ed King, Aaron Ryan, Will Keenan, Jack Shields.
Replacements; Joe Smart, Marcus Brown, Adam Balding, George Evans, Jimmy Williams.

3 responses to “Bishops Stortford 29-30 Cinderford”

  1. Dave says:

    Fantastic result….well done lads….keep it up.

  2. Dave says:

    Write up from Bish’s web site –

    Strong Cinderford pack, although outscrummaged in the second half, dominate possession and territory to grind out a last minute win, overturning a 29-11 deficit in the last 35 minutes.

    Stortford were caught cold at the start of the game and were 5 points down within 3 minutes, when an uncharacteristically ineffectual tackle allowed Cinderford’s left wing, Harry Robinson to touch down in the corner. Scores were level, though 4 minutes later, when Matt Tomlinson forced his way over from close range, after Sam Winter had made a lot of ground, with a powerful crossfield run to set up position. On 11 minutes the visitors took a 3 point lead, when Stortford were penalised at a scrum under their own posts but, within 5 minutes, the home side had taken a 4 point lead through a second try to Tomlinson, after a quick heel from another under pressure scrum on Cinderford’s 5 metre line, after Nick Hankin had tackled the fullback, before he could get a clearing kick away. Tom Banks was able to kick the conversion, as he did, 4 minutes later, when Cinderford were penalised under their own posts for a late shoulder charge on Tom Coleman, after the flyhalf had put in a clever chip kick, which almost produced a try. Prop, George Porter was yellow-carded for the offence, but his side showed great determination and considerable organisation to see out the 10 minutes’ sin bin period without conceding further. What’s more, within a couple of minutes of Porter’s return to action, his fullback, James Moffat kicked his own penalty, after Stortford collapsed a driving maul to narrow the deficit to 4 points. As time in the first half was running out, the home backs, who had looked threatening on a number of occasions, launched a final attack and a perfectly judged chip kick from Coleman was fielded on the full by Will Simmonds on around halfway, for the fullback to round his opposite number and beat the cover defence for pace to touch down under the posts. Banks’ conversion took the score at the break to 22-11.

    The halftime scoreline was perhaps a little flattering to the home side on the overall balance of play, but the try of the match only 5 minutes into the second period, scored by Jimmy Rea provided further reward for their skilful and ambitious backs play. The platform was provided by a suddenly dominant home scrum, forcing a penalty and possession from the resultant kick to touch and line out was run right, where two quick switch passes in succession saw the winger in under the posts. This looked for all the world like a decisive lead, but Cinderford had other thoughts and they proceeded to dominate possession and territory for the rest of the match, aided by a number of penalties conceded by Stortford at breakdowns. Although now struggling at scrum time, the powerful visiting forwards drove home their advantage in the loose, going through phase after phase after phase of hard driving runs, steadily wearing down even the very strong Stortford defensive wall. This produced a try for Porter after 19 minutes, barrelling over from short range, after an attempted clearance kick from behind Stortford’s line was charged down. This followed a speculative kick ahead, which looked to have been knocked on across the line, as a Cinderford chaser(aided also by some crafty shirt pulling by a teammate on a covering defender) dived on the ball just short of the line. The officials saw nothing amiss, though and Moffat rubbed salt in the wound by kicking a good conversion. This score clearly lifted the visitors and they naturally persisted in their limited, but very effective power driving game, bringing out the best in Stortford’s defence, but even that, under the remorseless barrage now mounted by the opposition forwards, had eventually to wilt, allowing replacement scrumhalf, Jimmy Williams to dive over for an unconverted try in the corner. Cinderford were making very few mistakes and, on the few occasions that Stortford managed to get their hands on the ball, they continued to exert such pressure that turnovers were relatively quickly won and very few opportunities were given for the home side to exploit their superiority now at the scrums. Once again, Stortford had to put in a stint of heroic defending, but it was no surprise when, after Tom Banks had been yellow-carded for an offence at a breakdown on their own line, with normal time running out, it was Porter again, who crashed over for his side’s fourth try. With a converted try needed, a more cautious and more cynical side than Stortford might have been tempted to allow a try to be scored out wide from the resultant lineout, but they stuck to their defensive guns, repelling the first couple of drives, but eventually conceding close to the posts. The conversion still needed some kicking under the tense circumstances, but Moffat made no mistake to take his side into a one point lead. Stortford launched a last desperate assault, flinging the ball to and from among their backs but, with their scrumhalf in the bin and Cinderford determined not to let their hard-earned lead slip, they were able to force a turnover to end the game.


  3. Roger Hawkes says:

    Thanks for a great report.
    An excellent win but why have we this problem being pushed around in the scrum? Needs sorting.

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