Cinderford finally registered a much deserved victory in National League One in and it could not have come in more thrilling fashion with outside-half Rory Teague kicking a late penalty from the half way line to clinch the points.
The match was played in the sweltering heat and was in the balance right up to the final whistle.
Teague and Jersey’s Michael Le Bourgeois exchanged penalties in the opening minutes before turnover ball saw Cinderford pressing hard for a try. Nev Codlin broke through the Jersey defence to almost score under posts but a fine last minute tackle pulled him up just short. Although dominating possession Cinderford had to settle for a penalty which Teague successfully kicked to make it 6-3 after 18 minutes play.
Le Bourgeois was off target with a couple of kicks at goal before he levelled the scores with a penalty after 31 minutes. Straight from the restart Jersey second row Kingsley Lang, was shown a yellow card, allowing Cinderford to pile on the pressure as half time approached.
A charge down in goal resulted in a 5m scrum and after a couple of attempts at pushovers the referee awarded the home side a well deserved penalty try which Teague converted. With half time looming there was still time for Le Bourgeois to kick his third penalty and make it 13-9 at the interval.
Cinderford’s defence had to be strong in the early stages of the second half as Jersey came out firing, but they held firm and Teague was able to increase the lead when the visitors were penalised for an off the ball incident, taking the score to 16-9.
With both sides tiring in the heat, the match moved into the final quarter with no further scores. Jersey brought on their replacements but rarely threatened to score, and Cinderford squandered possession in the Jersey 22 numerous times through unforced errors.
As the clock ticked down Cinderford began to sense that this was finally the day when they broke their run of defeats, but with 4 minutes of normal time remaining Ben West was sent to the sin bin, leaving Cinderford short handed and against the ropes. Constant Jersey pressure was finally rewarded as the clock ticked into injury time, and Le Bourgeois took a quick tap penalty and dived over the posts. His conversion levelled the scores at 16-16, and the crowd felt that Cinderford were going to have to do with a tie, for all their effort.
But as the clock moved into its fifth minute of injury time Cinderford were awarded a penalty on the half way line, just in from the right hand touch line. Rory Teague stepped up to take a kick that was at least 55 yards and with all the pressure on him produced a stunning kick that just dropped over the posts, giving Cinderford a stunning last minute victory in front of a relieved and jubilant crowd.
Man of the Match – Tom Bozzard, Cinderford