The Clifton faithful must have thought that Christmas had come early when wing Bentley Halpin charged down Clive Stuart-Smith’s attempted clearance kick to touch down after just fifteen seconds. Cinderford struggled to cope with a sustained onslaught from their hosts and went further behind when Brad Barnes slotted a penalty and then added the extras to fellow centre Sam Harrison’s try.
Cinderford had looked out of sorts and an unusual lack of discipline crept into their game. That carelessness was exemplified when hooker Nathan Taylor was lucky not to receive a yellow card after adding some old fashioned extras to a prone Clifton player who had tried to drag down a ferocious driving maul. Nevertheless the foresters weathered the storm and scored a crucial try just before the interval when blind-side Matt Lane crossed in the corner.
Cinderford, now playing downhill with the wind at their backs, put the Clifton pack through the mincer in an action packed second period. Taylor made amends for his earlier rush of blood by finishing off another Cinderford surge with a try in the corner. The foresters turned the screw in the scrums and inevitably a penalty-try came when referee Nick Wood, the former Gloucester loose head, lost patience with the crumbling Clifton eight.
Prop Elliot Booley went to the bin after another scrummage infringement and then Harry Hone scored for Cinderford after they shunted Clifton back over their own line. Hone scored another just minutes later with outside-half Liam Hemming adding his third conversion of the afternoon. A spirited Clifton scored an injury time try when number-seven Rhys Luckwell crossed in the corner.
Star man Cinderford second-row Dale Lemon