Despite gaining the lion’s share of possession and territory in the match, Cinderford were given a lesson in finishing by the Students as they slipped deeper into the National One relegation zone.
On a bright and breezy afternoon the visitors put their opponents try line under some early pressure, but the home side’s defence was up to the task and they soon raced up field to score the opening try of the match when the ball was moved swiftly to pacey winger Jonny Short who touched down in the corner. Josh Sharp was unable to convert Short’s try but he was on target with a penalty kick shortly afterwards when Cinderford infringed at a ruck in front of their own posts.
The visitors then enjoyed a long spell in their opponents half but some poor execution of the chances they created meant they once again failed to trouble the scoreboard. Worse was to follow for Cinderford when flanker George Mills was shown a yellow card and the Students took advantage of the extra man when Short raced over in the corner for his second try, with Sharp landing the conversion. The visitors finally opened their account right on the stroke of half-time when outside-half Mark Davies kicked a penalty.
Davies had the chance to further reduce the deficit early in the second-half, but his penalty attempt came back off the upright. The Students continued to be quicker in thought and deed than their opponents whenever they created an opportunity and livewire scrum-half Henry Taylor scored an excellent individual try, which Sharp converted. Sharp then landed his second penalty to give the Students a comfortable 25-3 lead after 55 minutes of play.
Cinderford were on top for much of the remainder of the match and following a yellow card for Taylor a series of forward surges eventually led to second-row Lance Randall crossing for an unconverted try. Davies was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on but Cinderford continued to press forward and as the match went into injury time several resets of a 5m scrummage eventually led to the referee awarding them a penalty try, which Charlie Norman converted with the last kick of the match.
Cinderford: M.Wilcox, N.Codlin, S.Hanks, C.Norman, S.Baker, M.Davies, C.Stuart-Smith, A.Gordas, D.Wheeler, E.Booley, L.Randall, M.Reynolds, G.Mills, C.McNeil, G.Evans. Repls all used; J.Smart, S.Wilkes, M.Uren, A.Uren, S.Hawley.