Cinderford having qualified for the knockout stages of the County Cup by winning all of their group matches, now had a “friendly” game against a side that on 2 previous occasions they had lost too. This was a game that Cinderford were fired up for and were in a positive mood and were determined to win.
The 2 sides have always been very evenly matched and today was no exception. In a very tight first half, Cheltenham opened the scoring after 20 grueling minutes with a try after some fine work from their forwards. The conversion was missed.
Cinderford began to dominate play and despite some fine possession, they were unable to cross the try line. In the 35th minute, Cinderford were awarded a penalty and chose to take the 3 points as Jack Guy coolly slotted home the kick.
Mason Carr had a very bad collision with his own player, Connor Gresty and had to be taken to hospital with a badly broken nose. Thankfully, he returned at the end of the game with a patched up nose for his troubles.
The second half continued where it left off and Cinderford were the dominant side and were encamped in the Cheltenham half for most of the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half.
Cinderford top try scorer Will Baldwin continued his prolific record with a fine try to give Cinderford the lead by 8-5.
Cheltenham responded and regained the lead with a converted try to make the score 12-8.
Time was running out for Cinderford but to a man they dug in and really pushed for the winning score. With only 5 minutes remaining, the forwards secured some fine sustained possession and the ball reached that man, Will Baldwin again, and he crossed the line to give Cinderford the lead (13-12) which they were never going to relinquish.
The final score of 13-12 rounded off a superb game and Cinderford came out deserved winners.
Cinderfords men of the match were Toby Powell and Finlay Poultney, but it could have been any one of the 18 players that did Cinderford so proud.
Josh Haddock, Jack Guy, Jude Hunt, Josh Tull, Louis Brennan, Cam Davis, Morgan Peates, Danny Troughton, Will Baldwin, Toby Powell, Finlay Poultney, Ben Thompson, Ethan Brookes, Ollie Moore, Jacob Smith, Connor Gresty, Ryan Kibble, Mason Carr.