Cinderford RFC: Late comeback not enough for Foresters
ESHER 19 CINDERFORD 12
CINDERFORD could not snatch their second road win of the National One season despite an inspired last ten minutes with 13 men.
The Foresters lost replacement hooker Stuart Bailey and fly-half Mark Davies to the sin-bin but battled back from 19-5 down to grab a losing bonus point thanks to Sam Caven’s intercept try.
The two teams started the day on level points with Esher boasting a 100 per cent bonus-point home record and eventually held on in an arm wrestle of a clash.
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Esher made the better start when number eight Mike Mcfarlane smashed through from halfway to set up ruck ball and scrum-half Ollie Frost quickly dotted down after three minutes.
Full-back Rob Kirby could not convert but Cinderford hit straight back when the hosts tried to be too intricate out of the tackle and inside centre Robbie Winchle intercepted and ran in.
Davies could not convert to tie it up on five minutes before the same man knocked on metres out six minutes later with support waiting wide.
Kirby dragged a 45-metre penalty wide 11 minutes later before the home side’s scrum upped the pressure and squeezed over with openside captain Ian Kench scoring and Kirby converting on 35.
Things got worse for the visitors when their defence was over run on their own line and Esher winger Joe Brown muscled over with Kirby making it 12-5 at half-time.
The second half was a quieter affair with the rain and wind dominating proceedings but it came to life on 69 minutes when Bailey was penalised at a scrum.
To make things worse his stand-off then joined him on the sidelines for having a word in the referee’s ear but the two-man deficit did not stop them.
The forwards pounded the Esher try-line with Gloucester Academy prop Tom Heard knocking on first with the line at his mercy after the pack had been held up once.
But Esher’s tight-head prop Kyle Sinckler, who is an England Under-20s international and dual registered with Harlequins, was rocked by a thundering tackle from Cinderford captain Will Foden.
The ball shot up into the air and Foresters’ replacement wing Caven plucked it out and raced 40 metres to score with full-back Mike Wilcox slotting a brilliant crucial conversion.
ESHER: R Kirby; J Brown, O Richards, T Cheeseman, S Sutherland; C Elder, O Frost; D Millard, N Sweeney (Campbell, 54), K Sinckler; J Inglis (Clifford, 84), K Chesney; C Gentles, I Kench (captain), M Macfarlane. Replacements: C Zeiss, J Campbell, J Clifford, A Wright, A Garner.
CINDERFORD: M Wilcox; N Codlin (Caven, 66), J Adams, R Winchle, L Stapleton; M Davies, D Lewis; J Smart (Brooks, 50), T Bozzard (Bailey, 53), T Heard; B West, D McKee (Critchley, 50); L Allen, W Foden, G Evans (Garner, 66). Replacements: J Brooks, S Bailey, D Critchley, S Garner, S Caven.