Cinderford picked up a fifth victory in their last six matches and took another giant stride towards securing their National One status with this tense victory over a Stourbridge side who now have it all to do if they are to stave off relegation.
With a strong wind at their backs Cinderford made all the early running and outside-half Rory Teague was on target with two out of three penalty attempts to give his side a 6-0 advantage after 15 minutes play.
The visitors were well on top up front, and it came as no surprise when they extended their lead with No8 George Evans picking up at the base of a 5m scrum and showing good strength to force his over for an unconverted try.
Stourbridge then earned themselves some brief respite with a good passage of play which eventually led to winger Nathan Bressington brushing aside a poor attempt at a tackle and being awarded a try in corner, despite going perilously close to putting a foot in touch, this went unconverted.
Cinderford were soon back on the attack and they were awarded a penalty try when the home sides’ scrummage disintegrated after being shoved backwards towards their line, Teague added the conversion.
Jamie Hearn landed a penalty for Stourbridge to make it 8-18 just before the interval.
There was still time though for Cinderford to score what in the end was to prove a vital try. A huge tackle in mid-field from hooker Sam Wilkes on the home centre saw the ball dislodged and land in the grateful hands of Rob Winchle who bounced off a tackle and raced clear through to score under the posts, with Teague adding the extras.
Whatever was said in the home sides changing room at half-time certainly had the desired effect and it was Cinderford who soon found themselves under pressure in the second-half.
A lineout catch and drive led to Stourbridge flanker Tom Leach touching down and when Hearn scored and converted his own try following a sweeping move up field the home side had all the momentum with them going into the final quarter of the match.
Cinderford didn’t help their cause with some wayward kicking out of hand, and when Simeon James and Tom Heard were both given yellow cards in quick succession they were forced to play the final ten minutes of the match with only 13 men on the pitch.
However in the face of such adversity they showed tremendous strength of character to deny their opponents any more scoring opportunities and successfully ran down the clock to secure another vital win.
Cinderford: M.Wilcox, N.Codlin, (L.Carter 56), (D.Trigg 65), S.James, R.Winchle, L.Stapleton, R.Teague, D.Pointon, Y.Thomas, S.Wilkes, T.Heard,(J.Smart 72), B.West, E.King, A.Nicholls (Capt.), (L.Allen 68), W.Foden, G.Evans. Replacement: not used T.Bozzard.