Early Hillier try provides catalyst for Cheltenham victory over Windsor
Cheltenham reached the mid-point of the season with a victory against Windsor that put them in 11th place in the South West One East league table, writes Derek Clifford.
Cheltenham made the ideal start taking an eighth-minute lead when after good build-up play James Hillier crashed over for a unconverted try.
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After 19 minutes, both sides were reduced to 14 men after an off-the-ball fracas.
Cheltenham's James Milne and Windsor's Tom King were shown yellow cards by referee Tim Chandler.
As the game continued it was the home side that scored next, captain Tom Lait grabbing an unconverted try in the 27th minute, after combining well with Ryan Hill and Rich Morris from a testing grubber kick from Mark Whitney.
Cheltenham continued to have the upper hand with several promising attacks being thwarted by a stubborn Windsor defence.
Just before the half-time whistle, Cheltenham moved the ball with pace down the left side from deep in their own half and centre Max Hough grabbed a fine try.
Josh Herbert finally found his kicking boots with a good touch-line conversion to send the home side into a 17-0 lead at the break.
The second half started with Windsor gaining a foothold in the game with their first meaningful attack of the game as Joe Green scored a try and added the conversion.
Cheltenham hit straight back with a Herbert penalty after 55 minutes. Cheltenham extended their lead to 25-7 after 62 minutes when Milne grabbed an unconverted try.
Windsor then turned up the pressure on a tiring Cheltenham side, Tim Brown scoring an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 25-12.
Windsor set up a grandstand finish when winger Pete Nunn rounded a home defence for a try with Green converted to reduce the deficit to 25-19.
Despite Windsor's best efforts to grab the winning score, Will Mbanga's side held on to win and continue their push up the league table, with the big test coming up this Saturday when league leaders Bracknell visit the Prince of Wales Stadium.
Cheltenham: Moore, Dickinson, Goatcher, Milne, Hillier, Lucas, Athey, Lait capt, Hill, Whitney, Constantine, Dobie, M Hough, Morris, Herbert. Reps Seymour, Tuck.
Windsor: Stewart, Hewitt, Harvey, Thompson, Wright, Louisson, King capt, Evans, Bailes, Davies, Nunn, Graves, Green, Sandiland, Morgan. Reps Kidd, Brown, Grewai.
Referee: Tim Chandler Gloucestershire Society.
Star Man: Cheltenham's Phil Lucas