Cinderford travelled to the capital to take on unbeaten Ealing, and despite yet again looking like they should have won, came away with only a losing bonus point.
Cinderford deserved so much more, but like several of their games this season matches can swing on little mistakes or wrong decisions. This happened to the Foresters on 63 minutes when they were 15-10 up at the time. Cinderford had Ealing pinned in their half and were moving the ball out wide, eventually finding Lloyd Stapleton on the wing. Stapleton dived over in the corner only to have the try ruled out by a very dubious forward pass, the look of shock on Ealing’s players faces told it all.
Cinderford again suffered an early injury blow, losing influential prop Paul Price in the first minute to a knee injury, but they started stronger than they had done in previous weeks.
On 10 minutes Ealing opened the scoring as Neil Hallett slotted over with a penalty, to put the unbeaten side 3-0 up.
On 15 minutes some magnificent work by Cinderford’s forward’s saw second row Ben West go over the line to give them the lead 3-5. Rory Teague narrowly missed the conversion.
Cinderford continued to dominate the match, until just before half-time when they were caught napping by a quickly taken tap penalty Ealing winger Owen Brunynseels sized his opportunity to touch down, and Hallett added the two extra points to give Ealing the half time lead 10-5.
Cinderford continued to dominate possession in the second half. A penalty by Teague and a try by prop Chris Bundy, converted by Teague, saw the foresters go 15-10 up. Against the odds Cinderford were looking well worth their lead.
Hallett scored a penalty to bring the home side back to within two points, but the Cinderford forwards were still in total control. Ealing’s scrum continued to creak and the pressure resulted in a penalty to Cinderford on 69 minutes, Teague slotted it over to increase their lead to 18-13.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock Ealing were given a lifeline when they were given a penalty in front of the posts, which Hallett gratefully took, to bring Ealing back to within two points.
With time running out it looked like Cinderford were about to pick up their first win of the season. However a cleaver chip through by Hallet enabled winger Phillip Chesters to dive onto the ball to score the match winning try. The conversion was missed but the home side finished as winners 21-18 in front.
Cinderford can take a lot of positives from the game, and it will only be a matter of time before they put an end to this loosing start to the season. Their current position at bottom of the table does not do them justice. Cinderford had the quality to win each of their five matches this season and once they can get that initial win then a run of victories could follow. With the top two unbeaten sides out of the way, and Cinderford unlucky not to beat both of them, not many sides will relish playing a tough Cinderford side.