Cinderford United lost their second Zoo London Shield league match but nevertheless produced a committed and passionate display in defeat. In terms of territory and possession they were more than a match for their Oxfordshire opponents but ultimately they were undone by numerous individual errors such as ball retention and inexplicable missed tackles. From the outset the United took the game to the home side. Wing Chris Harrington and number 8 Loti Molitika went close for Cinderford but the error count began to mount and the chances were spurned. Henley always looked dangerous from deep with their quick and their strong running three quarters that were a constant threat from turnover ball. A Henley penalty gave the home side a lead and just before half time Cinderford fly half Tom Law was sin binned for a deliberate knock on. Henley kicked a second penalty as a result for a 6-0 interval lead – somewhat against the run of play.

The second half began with Law still in the bin and a hesitant United failed to exit from their twenty two when they had the chance. Henley made them pay and a well taken try, swiftly executed through a loose blind side United defence, and gave the home side a decisive score. The try was converted for a 13-0 lead. Cinderford continued to press and with Law back a full strength United side struck back when blind side Will Hodgetts scored a try following a series of pick and go’s close to the Henley line. The conversion was missed but the United appeared to be in the ascendancy. However, the unforced error count undermined their courageous efforts to get on terms and two tries in two minutes on the seventy minute mark secured the home side victory. Both were spectacular long range efforts and weak Cinderford tackling certainly aided it but the ambition of the home side should not be diminished. Cinderford United did at least rally and replacement centre Ollie Whiting swept over near the end for a deserved second United try.

Cinderford United; Jack Wakefield, Jack Richards (Geraint Davies), Liam Littleton (Ollie Whiting), Alan Bryan (Capt), Chris Harrington, Tom Law, Jason Graham, Michael Davies, Luke Crunden, Jamie Baglin (Toby Farrier), Sam Morse, Milo Reynolds (Keiran Stubley), Will Hodgetts, Mitch Bourne, Loti Molitika.

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