A penalty try in the final minute of this tightly-fought contest secured victory for Cinderford and a season-double for the Gloucestershire side over Blackheath.
Blackheath, not for the first time, poured pressure on themselves with indiscipline and poor decision-making.
The visitors were leading by two points, courtesy of Mark Cooke’s conversion of Jake Lloyd’s 68th-minute try.
As Cinderford spread play across field, Nick Foster stuck out an arm and, with an extra man out wide, referee Calum Howard, after consulting his assistant, adjudged the action a deliberate knock-on and awarded the full seven points.
It was no more than they deserved. Cinderford had made fewer errors on an afternoon where a strong gusty wind high up in the Forest of Dean made life difficult, and their pack had ground out greater territory.
The hosts claimed the only try of the first period as a neat move from lineout ball on halfway in the 11th minute saw Sam Smith come off his right flank and send opposite wing Ed Bogue across for a converted score.
Cooke bookended the opening period with two penalties to leave Blackheath a single point adrift at the interval and added a third, wind-assisted, from 40 metres, to retake the advantage 11 minutes after the restart.
In the first period Blackheath had got themselves caught trying to escape up a blind alley, leading to a run of five penalties, a yellow card, and a series of close-range lineouts which they somehow managed to survive.
They were less fortunate in the 55th minute, as their own ball was fumbled and Cinderford scrum-half Jimmy Williams barged his way over.
Fly-half Paul Morgan added a fine conversion into the wind to regain the initiative at 14-9, but a moment of inspiration from Leo Fielding saw the Club full-back track back on the ball before turning, making a 30-metre break and offloading to Lloyd for his converted score.
The breeze – which should have been in Blackheath’s favour – came back to bite as Cooke’s clearance went the distance, giving Cinderford the put-in on the Club’s 22, and the visitors couldn’t hang on.
Blackheath go to Hull Ionians tomorrow.
PICTURES BY TONY FIELDING
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