A strong second-half performance from Hartpury, which included a superb try from replacement outside-half Matt Protheroe earned them a well deserved victory in a fully committed County derby.

It was a disappointing display from Cinderford, who came into the match having won three of their previous four outings, but they found themselves under pressure in the scrummage, lost several of their own lineouts and conceded far too many penalties at the breakdown.

Playing into a strong breeze and cheered on by plenty of travelling support Cinderford made a bright start to the match with Mike Wilcox catching a perfectly executed chip over the defensive line by Mark Davies, to score an unconverted try after 15 minutes of play. Hartpury hit back however with two penalties from scrum-half Gareth Thompson giving them a 6-5 lead at the interval.

The second-half started with Protheroe’s stunning try, and from then on the home side were in control of the match. Thompson landed three more penalties to increase his side’s advantage, with Davies making a solitary reply for Cinderford.

The match did boil over in the closing stages with Hartpury’s Steve Lenoard and Cinderford’s George Mills both shown red cards following an altercation in mid-field.

Cinderford: – Mike Wilcox (Capt.), Alex Frame, Al Bryan, Jack Adams, Sam Baker, Mark Davies, Clive Stuart-Smith, Chris Bundy, Luke Cole, Elliot Booley, Roger Birkin, Milo Reynolds, George Mills, Marcus Brown, Mike Uren.

Replacements: – Jake Caulfield, Sam Wilkes, Dan Fry, Sam Hanks, Stef Hawley.

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