There was a dramatic conclusion to this match when Sam Hanks scored his second try deep into stoppage time to snatch an unlikely victory for Cinderford over Hull Ionians. It was tough on the home side though and in particular their winger Aquille Smith who scored all four of his team’s tries, but the visitors were rewarded for not giving up hope, despite trailing 24-7 after 64 minutes of play.
Cinderford made a confident start to the match and a kick to the corner set up a lineout catch and drive which saw hooker Tom Bozzard touchdown, with Chris Eden landing the conversion. Ionians came much more into the game and Smith scored two tries in as many minutes, as Cinderford were temporarily reduced to 14 men following a yellow card for No8 Matt Lane.
The visitors were guilty of some poor decision making as they spurned several penalty opportunities in favour of an attacking lineout, but their efforts went unrewarded and Smith made them pay when he completed his ‘hat-trick’ just before the interval, with Issac Green kicking the conversion.
Smith’s fourth try gave Ionians a seemingly unassailable lead mid-way through the second-half, with Green adding the extras. However the Cinderford recovery began when Lane went over under the posts for a well taken try, with Eden converting.
With normal time almost up Hanks scored his first try following some excellent approach play from the visitors, and he completed his ‘double’ in added time, as he out stripped the cover defence to go over, much to the delight of his team and their loyal band of travelling supporters. Eden landed both conversions to complete the scoring.
Cinderford; Mike Wilcox (Capt.), Harrison Yorke, Sam Hanks, Chris Eden, Josh Adams, Callum Sheedy, Alex Frame, Derrick Appiah, Tom Bozzard, Elliot Booley, Ed King, Roger Birkin, Adam Balding, George Mills, Matt Lane. Reps: Chris Bundy, Sam Baker, Marcus Brown, Milo Reynolds, Dan Pointon.