A second half meltdown, costing four tries, condemned the city club to a disappointing start to their National 2 South season.
They played into the hands of an increasingly confident Cinderford as they fell off tackles, kicked poorly and lost their way in the last half hour.
In a competitive first half there was nothing to suggest that Canterbury would fall apart so easily as they took an early lead and fought back strongly after losing Max Cantwell to a yellow card.
They were first on the scoreboard when George Micans and Dan Smart set up a try for Ollie Best from the back of a scrum and Best converted.
Cinderford, a side who have recruited heavily and are fancying a return to Division One, used their pack power to force a penalty try to level matters but it wasn’t until Cantwell was sin binned late in the half that they managed to cross the line. Jake Moffatt kicked a penalty to give them the lead and converted a try by Number Eight Harry Hone as the visitors took advantage of their extra man.
But the city side had lost nothing in comparison at this stage and in the final minute of the half used a penalty to set up a catch and drive try for prop Aaron Cooper’
They came under immediate pressure after the break but thought they had stolen a try when Smart kicked and chased the length of the field to touch down, only to be recalled for a knock on spotted by the Assistant Referee. Cinderford struck immediately, creating an overlap for elusive wing Reuben Norville, and Moffatt converting. But Smart got his consolation as the city side attacked the left corner and the scrum half dived over. That left the game finely poised at 17-24 but at that point the city side inexplicably started to vanish from sight and the strong and direct running visitors took charge.
One of several indifferent clearance kicks landed in Norville’s arms on half way and he weaved too easily past four men for an outstanding score to point the way to victory.
There was some heroic work from Canterbury flanker Sam Rogers, but Cinderford’s domination grew and further tries from Hone and replacement Joe Smart guaranteed they left with a full quota of league points.
Canterbury: A.Moss (repl W.Farris), G.Hilton, J J Murray, C.Kingsman, H.Sayers, O.Best, D.Smart (repl K.Braithwaite), J.Green (repl T.Little), T.Rogers (repl E.Deacon), A.Cooper, R.Cadman (repl L.Whetton), M.Corker, M.Cantwell, S.Rogers G. Micans