In a pulsating match Cinderford recovered from a 14-31 deficit early in the second half to score 22 unanswered points and earn themselves a bonus point win. Coventry contributed fully to a thrilling encounter, but this win leaves Cinderford top of the table with two 5 point wins from their opening two matches.
The home side opened the scoring after just two minutes when centre Rob Winchle touched down for a try which Mark Davies converted. After such a positive opening Cinderford tried too hard to repeat their opening score and were too adventurous passing in their own 22. A miss pass went wide and Wilcox under pressure had to kick to touch. With the ball going straight out Coventry gained possession on the Cinderford try line and after several attempts Jacques Le Roux crossed the line, to level the score.
After the early Cinderford try this gave Coventry renewed confidence and after the re-start Coventry put a huge up-and-under into the Cinderford half, and confusion between Codlin and Wilcox meant the catch was missed and the ball was knocked on. From the scrum Coventry broke and Brett Daynes scored, to give Coventry the lead 14-7
After renewed Cinderford pressure the Foresters levelled the score at 14-14 when Jack Adams crossed for a try which Davies converted after 16 minutes play. Cinderford then had good possession, but could not break through a solid Coventry defence.
There were two lengthy stoppages as Coventry lost a player with a neck injury and Cinderford lost their captain to concussion, but after the delays Hodgson kicked a penalty to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the match, and just before half-time they stretched the lead when Heath Stevens was awarded a try which Hodgson converted – to make it 14-24 at the interval.
Straight from the re-start Coventry scored again when winger Greg Evans intercepted a pass and raced clear to score, with Hodgson again adding the extras. At 14-31 there looked no way back for Cinderford, but a Mark Davies penalty reduced the deficit to 14 points, and the sin-binning of visiting second-row Dan Wright was a real turning point.
With Coventry down to 14 men Cinderford finally got control of the ball and scored twice more through Lloyd Stapleton and Nevaro Codlin. Davies landed one of the conversions to make it 29-31 going into the final ten minutes.
With Coventry back to full strength Cinderford maintained their pressure and Codlin scored his second try of the match, going over in the corner. Another excellent conversion by Davies pushed the lead out to 5 points, and despite intense late pressure from Coventry they held on for victory.
Man of the match: Mark Davies
CINDERFORD: M Wilcox; N Codlin, J Adams, R Winchle, L Stapleton; M Davies, S Arnott; J Brooks, T Bozzard, T Heard (Smart, 40); D McKee, B West; A Nicholls, W Foden (capt) (Evans, 30), J Garner. Replacements: N Woodward, J Smart, G Evans, A Frame, S Caven.
COVENTRY: B Toft; J Gregson, C Macburnie, H Stevens, G Evans; C Hodgson, N Jones (Barker, 18); N Steenkamp, M Price, D Herriott; D Wright, S Morgan (capt); B Daynes, M Tibbatts, J Le Roux. Replacements: R Dugard, D McGregor, T Poole, L Barker, B Russell.