Cinderford travelled out of Gloucestershire for the first time this season to fulfil a tough fixture at Ledbury and it was the visitors that came away with the victory spoils after a hard fought game in which they never took the lead until the last 5 minutes.
The Foresters welcomed back Ethan Brookes onto the wing following a broken collarbone but it was Ledbury’s bigger pack that dominated the early encounters and they opened the scoring with a converted try. After replacing their entire front row Cinderford’s props Ben James and Jacob Smith and hooker Will Taylor held firm in the scrums. Along with second rows Toby Powell and Morgan Peates and the back row of Matt Cook, Frazer Montague and Conor Gresty the pack started to hold their own in the set plays to give their backs some ball they had been starved of up to that point. As a result they drew level moving the ball across the backline and a finely weighted pass from Cam Davis put Luke Marrott away for a powerful run that resulted in his first try for the club which was converted by Jack Guy. Ledbury continued to attack and wing Jordan Owen made a couple of determined tackles to halt attacks while full back Cam Davis fielded everything put in the air by the hosts meaning that at half time the scores were level at 7-7.
The second half brought Ledbury two further unconverted tries to open up a 17-7 lead despite Cinderford being held up short of the hosts line on a couple of occasions. However this season Cinderford have found a new determination and refused to lie down and this was rewarded when a strong run from Conor Gresty, switched from No.8 to Centre with debutant Marrott, resulted in a unconverted score to bring Cinderford to within 5 points of the hosts. Powell, Peates and Marrott were impressive in the loose and flankers Cook and Montague hunted the ball down well as normal. The reintroduction of Josh Haddock and Mason Coborn kept the pack competing with their opponents in key areas and with scrum-half Niall Rosser and outside-half Guy linking the play well the score inspired Cinderford to greater endeavours. Right wing Louis Brennan assisted defensively when needed and a flicked pass, up off the deck, by Rosser led to a superb left wing run and finish by the impressive Will Baldwin that drew Cinderford level before Rosser’s conversion put them in front 19-17 with a minute remaining. There was still enough time for the visitors to open the winning margin when Montague gathered the re-start leading to outside-centre Gresty breaking away for his second try of the day converted by Guy to seal the win.
Most Improved Players: Jacob Smith (Forwards) & Luke Marrott (Backs)
Men of the Match: Matt Cook (Forwards) & Conor Gresty (Backs)
Cinderford Squad: Jack Guy (capt), Mason Coborn, Louis Brennan, Josh Haddock, Will Taylor, Toby Powell, Frazer Montague, Matt Cook, Conor Gresty, Niall Rosser, Will Baldwin, Luke Marrott, Jordan Owen, Ethan Brookes, Cameron Davis, Ben James, Jacob Smith, Morgan Peates.