Breakaway Tries Sink Stroud
Stroud found the going tough against this newly promoted Bath team. Although Stroud played with spirit and commitment Oldfield had the edge in the pack and their back play was more inventive and organized. Oldfield have a young side with a cavalier style and plenty of pace out wide. Their adventurous play was difficult to contain.
Approaching half-time they had built up a lead of 7-0 but Stroud were pressing strongly and were attacking near the Oldfield line. A dropped pass however, saw Oldfield pick up and race 70 metres to score near the posts, 12-0. This score seemed to take the steam out of Stroud. Centre Luke Peer was having a sound game both in attack and defence and Jake Marsh, once again, caught the eye with his strong counterattacking. It goes without saying that Tom Flanagan put himself about in a purposeful fashion and his tackle count was high. As always in these difficult games, Rob Higgins stood out with his intelligent, forceful play and consumate handling skills. Pete Sykes just missed with a long penalty goal just before the break.
In the second half Sam Leworthy made a welcome return after injury. Stroud went further behind when some flimsy tackling allowed Oldfield’s small but speedy wing to scamper over in the corner. They further increased their lead with a catch and drive try, 24-0. Their final try came, again, after a breakdown in the Stroud attack: the ball was seized by the Oldfield winger who ran 85 metres to score under the posts. Stroud were determined to score and following many phases Leworthy managed to pass out to Pete Sykes who touched down in the corner.
Stroud now know that the season is going to be a test of character and commitment and the squad and manager are determined to reverse these early results.