A sensational ending to an excellent Zoo Shield league game saw Cinderford United victorious at a sunny but windy Dockham Road. With the scores locked at 27-27 Jersey eked out a penalty with the game’s last passage of play. The successful kick would have given the visitors victory. However, it missed to the right and wing Jack Richards bravely ran the ball back out into play rather than dotting it down and accepting a draw. The United retained the ball through two more phases close to their own line before Captain Alan Bryan broke and passed to Harrison Yorke who sped home from sixty metres out for a dramatic and scarcely believable match winning score. Ollie Whiting’s conversion was a mere formality for the jubilant United.
The first half saw the United opt to play with a strong breeze behind them as they attacked the clubhouse end. They were ahead within minutes as Jersey attempted to run the ball from their own twenty two and the alert Nathan Green pounced on a floated pass and was under the Jersey posts in a flash. Whiting converted and added a penalty goal shortly afterwards. Jersey responded and the United were guilty of conceding soft penalties particularly at the breakdown. From a close range lineout the visitors rumbled over for an unconverted try. The United scored next when Bryan raced over in the clubhouse corner. Whiting converted superbly from the touchline. However, Jersey continued to pose a real threat all over the pitch and two tries, one converted, either side of a second Whiting penalty goal left them only three points behind at the interval and with the advantage of the strengthening wind for the second half.
This was emphasised as two Jersey unconverted tries, in the third quarter, swept them into a seven point lead and the United looked in real trouble. The fact that Jersey lacked a kicker proved to be pivotal as in total eleven points were missed. On the other hand Whiting never missed and it was he who scampered over for a try after the United threatened for the first time in the half. His conversion levelled the scores. Both sides had players sin binned and the game’s excitement continued until the end and the drama of the missed kick and the stunning length of the field United try which demonstrated their season long exuberance and refusal to accept defeat easily.
Cinderford United; James Butler, Nathan Green, Alan Bryan, Liam Littleton, Harrison Yorke, Tom Law, Ollie Whiting, Mike Baldwin, Sam Baker, Jake Drinkwater, Toby Farrier, Angus Hodges, Sam Morse, Will Keenan, Will Hodgetts. Replacements (all used on rotation); Rob Groves, Jordan Taylor, Matt Allcock, Jack Richards, Robson Skipsey