Cinderford United sensationally scored twelve points in the last three minutes, to turn around a six point deficit, and achieve a Zoo Shield victory over Worthing on the south coast. The fact they needed to was bizarre as they completely dominated the first half and were left to rue the fact that they only led 10-0 at the break. The long journey, via various towns, cities and castles in the south east, was long and arduous and clearly had an impact on a sluggish United. However, they always looked the better and more accomplished side in the first half despite the valiant efforts of a game and robust Worthing side. An Ollie Whiting penalty and a try by left wing Harrison Yorke, converted by scrum half Whiting, was all they had to show on the scoreboard in which at least two gilt edged try scoring opportunities were squandered over the Worthing line.
Nevertheless there seemed little reason to suspect the sudden second half change around that unfolded. Worthing noticeably upped their game against a complacent United and laid siege to the United line. Two sin binning’s within a minute left the United down to thirteen men. Centre Rob Winchle was binned for bullying his opposite number, in a tackle, whose alleged pain clearly had an impact on the referee’s decision. Straight afterwards replacement flanker Will Hodgetts was binned for trying to win the ball at a breakdown. From a scrum five metres from the United line the home side exposed the lack of United numbers and crossed for a converted try. Whiting responded with a penalty goal but just before the sin bins were over Worthing utilised their superior numbers and scored a try under the posts. The conversion put them in front for the first time. The return to a full complement did not, as expected, change the United’s mood or fortunes. Penalties continued to be given away and their lack of ball retention allowed a now bullish home side to stay on top. A third Worthing try, this time unconverted, seemed to put an end to the United’s chances. However, in a dramatic ending Yorke scored a second try as he stormed down his left wing for a fine score. Whiting’s conversion missed, and the United still trailed by a point, but from the kick off James Butler and Will Hodgetts combined to send Alan Bryan storming through from his own half. He kicked ahead and Winchle hacked past the last defender who then brought down a free running Nathan Green who would have inevitably scored. The penalty try was the only choice for the referee and Whiting’s conversion completed the great escape.
Cinderford United; Terence Babarinsa (Alan Bryan), Nathan Green, James Butler, Rob Winchle, Harrison Yorke, Tom Law, Ollie Whiting, Jake Caulfield, Liam Hindmarch (Sam Baker), Jake Drinkwater, Toby Farrier, Sam Morse, Matt Lane (Will Hodgetts), Matt Allcock, Jack Shields.