Cinderford 29, v London Irish Wild Geese 21

The trip to Cinderford was treated with trepidation by the travelling Geese support, as this was a team who gave a defensive masterclass against us last season but had now added tries to the mix having run in 14 at Henley the previous week.

Things looked ominous in the early exchanges when the hosts opened the scoring with a simple catch and drive. Worse was to come with an interception that led to an easy run in between the posts, making the kick a formality.

Things went from bad to worse when a lightning Geese attack had a try disallowed for a forward pass.

Cinderford then added a third try from a line out move and a long second half beckoned

A fourth try and a home bonus point came on half time, which was again converted by Cinderford, leaving the score at the interval 24-0 in favour of the home side. At this point the home crowd were busily predicting all manner of records tumbling in the second half.

BUT …

Whatever head coach Lee Starling said in the dressing room at half time had a galvanizing affect and the Geese started to look more and more menacing. The introduction of Charlie Connor gave fresh impetus to the pack and in a matter of moments George Owen cantered in for the first Irish score of the day.

This was soon followed by Charlie Connor bustling his way over for a second Geese try with both scorers converted by Alex Sears. Was the comeback on with twenty minutes to go?

Cinderford responded against the run of play with their fifth and final try of the game, leaving the Irish with a mountain to climb.

Reon Joseph went over for the try of the match, which was duly converted by the returning Ollie Turner, but time was not our friend and despite the huge second half effort there was to be no reward.

So, 29-21 it finished up and we are all left to rue a first half that just left too much to do in the second half in which Irish outplayed and outscored the league leaders.

The tag of gallant losers did not sit well after the game and this is a team on the verge of a big win. Honourable mentions go out to Scott Moore who was everywhere in the second half and to Reon Joseph who made 2 huge try saving tackles.

Many thanks to those that made the journey.