Cinderford 30 pts Henley Hawks 23pts.
Henley arrived at Cinderford after a satisfying victory over Bury St. Edmunds the previous week at Dry Leas. In damp conditions they held sway in the first half leading narrowly 13-10at the break. Unfortunately they could not sustain this in the second half conceding three tries in the last 2O minutes.
They quickly took the lead with a penalty from the boot of their leading scorer scrum-half George Jackson kicking a penalty after three minutes. Cindy fly-half James Moffatt quickly responded with a similar effort just three minutes later.
However the Hawks had difficulty in keeping possession for with a lack of understanding of referee Robert Bourke’s interpretation of the laws they conceded nine penalties in the first forty minutes . The home side were better giving away just three.
Nevertheless had the better of exchanges with their backs moving the ball to keep the home side on the back foot although the Hawks had difficulty to break the line despite the best efforts of Joe Butler in particular. However when they captured a line out (not always secure on their own throw ) the experienced prop Brad Cook was able to force his way over fortry at the second attempt.. This was converted with a fine kick from near touch by the reliable Jackson..
The Hawks were not able to build on their lead of 10-3 as immediately skip Dave Clements was given a yellow card for a high tackle .It was Cinderford who then took the initiative and using the pressure asserted with the extra man created a try for winger Harry Robinson who collected an inside pass from Moffatt and touched down after being held up. The fly-half levelled the scores at 10-10 .However the Hawks struck back thanks again to the boot of Jackson who gave them the lead with a penalty from in front of the posts .
The ding dong nature of the game continued for Moffatt was on target with a penalty to level the scores at 13-13 after 45 minutes. It was then that the Hawks looked to have rocked the home side back with the best created try of the game when right wing Xavier Andre put in a scalding run starting in the Hawks halfwhich completely left the Cinderford cover stranded which took him to their posts where Jackson was in hand to take the scoring pass to make the conversion a formality. It was therefore that the Hawks thought the game was their’s for the taking.
This was certainly not in the script as far as the home side were concerned . Thet were encouraged to thing other wise when Hawks’ full back started a run out of defence, as is his want, and followed up a steepleing kick but put in a head high tackle on his opposite number Eamonn Rees after he put a clearance kick away which resulted in the penaltyfor the offence so committed bein awarded in the Hawks’ 22. From this situation Cindy put in a good handling movement which took them to the Hawks’ posts where replacement prop Ciaran Knight forced his way over for a try which with another conversion by Moffatt equalised the score at 20-20
Cinderford were now full of confidence and had a will to winwhich the Hawks seemed to have lost. Helpaed by almost unique decision to send Cindy captain George Porter off after and Hawks’ replacement prop Zaki Chamnaiou prop off with yellow cards. This was an acknowledgement that he could not supervise the scrummsgingin the front row.
This meant the introduction of non – competitive scrums which was to the advantage of Cindy as they had the put in and they were able to put Robinson over for his second try and fellow wing Alex Frame for the ultimate try, both unconverted and both scored as a result of ineffective tackling.
The scoring was concluded by Jackson whose third penalty after 77 minutes from 40 metres gave the Hawks a little dignity securing them a bonus point. The decision to take this was probably the Hawks’ best decision ofgame in which leaves them next week to face Old Elthamians, unbeaten and second in the league .
Match photos courtesy of Steve Karpa: www.flickr.com/photos/steve_karpa/albums/72157671761565534
Team as per preview report 12th October– replacements:
Gardner 62 Davies
Andre 66 Philpott
Albon 77 Davey
Jackson 78 Stevenson -Wright
O’Neill 78 Andre