Cinderford United earned a hard fought victory in hurricane-like conditions for the majority of the match. However this did not stop them playing with brave ambition and flair that was reminiscent of a super rugby clash. The home crowd were treated to some beautifully worked scores; Cinderford United certainly came with the attitude of playing to win. Henley Bulls, all credit to them, always looked threatening despite the numerous handing errors in attack in addition to their scrum-half having an appalling day at the office which the Cinderford United defensive line were all too happy to capitalise on. The swirling conditions made it a very difficult day for the back three and kickers, Henley Bulls managed them very well with some excellent kicks to touch to keep the pressure on the home side throughout. In damp conditions handing errors were to be expected and a few opportunities went awry in the first quarter, although both sides played with ambition Cinderford looked the more fluent in attack, returning halfback Danny Pointon providing the energy at the base injecting velocity into attack, keeping the visitors guessing. Although the home sides’ indiscipline at the breakdown kept the visitors threatening, it wasn’t until 30 minutes United finally touched down, a simple draw and pop to give right wing Robson Skipsey a simple run in. Pointon converted masterfully to give the home side a 7-0 cushion. The next passages of play showed the real finesse of individuals side followed including an elaborate pop out the back off a switch move by tireless fullback Stef Hawley and a blind pass by Pointon to feed Robson on another gallop down the far channel. Henley struck back through a driving maul and a few bullish assaults at the line went over 7-5. Henley finished off the first half with a long range penalty from half way and despite the conditions the flyhalf drilled the ball through the uprights giving the visitors the lead 7-8 at half time.
Henley came out firing, working the strong wind to their advantage, but consistent handling errors blunted their attack, although on a few occasions they nearly breached the line when the passes were on target. But the home sides defence held firm which has been one of their strong points all season. Cinderford scored shortly after kick off with quick hands from Stef Hawley to allow winger Robson in for his second of the game. The conversion was missed and Henley charged for the try line. Poor exit strategy from their own 22 gave Henley an opportunity to hammer at the try line to try and regain a foothold, the score soon came, with Henley’s inside centre sliding under the posts 12-15. The conversion was slotted setting up a thrilling final quarter. Credit to the United the youngsters remained calmed and continued to stretch the Henley side with expansive play and fast paced offloads despite the boggy turf clearly sapping at the energy levels. Finally Al Bryan drew in the defenders and offloaded to replacement wing Jason Graham to speed in for a score, the proficient Pointon slotted a beautiful conversion near touch. Henley seemed well and truly beaten and in the last minute Tom Law rounded the game off with a trademark grubber from which the wily centre Sam Hanks happily pounced on to score, the conversion was missed but Cinderford United should be very happy with such a clinical performance the final score 24-15.