Stroud end 2017 with a great team win
Marsh hat-trick the highlight of Christmas festivities.
Stroud won an exhilarating game to put them in good mood for the Christmas break.
Although always in the lead they had to fight hard in the second half as Chosen Hill slowly chipped away at the deficit with their talented number 10 pulling all the strings. Stroud’s defence however was up to the task and they were able to maintain possession at critical times writes Sean Moore.
Stroud’s first score followed a penalty in front of their own posts. They took Chosen Hill by surprise by running the ball out and this set Dan Gordon free. He made it to the halfway line then dummied to pass inside to Carl Ranscombe. He drew the defence and the ever supporting Joe Hoyle was able to take Gordons pass and yet again show to show terrific pace to score a try near the posts. Pete Sykes converted 0-7.
Chosen Hill replied with a penalty goal 3-7. The Stroud scrum was providing considerable pressure frequently pushing the opposition off the wall. Following a scrum in the Chosen Hill 22 the ball went out to number 10 Jake Marsh- he took a short pass at pace and burst through the defence to score an excellent try .Sykes converted 3-14.
After the break Chosen Hill took full advantage of the wind and slope and pinned down Stroud on their own line and they scored a try following a line out in the corner. Stroud continue to attack from long distance and a flowing 80 meter movement involving Gordon, Marsh, Doyle and Ranscombe finished with Stroud just held up short of the line.
Aussie Bob was a constant thorn in the Chosen Hill side and he was ably supported by Josh Sratton and Tom Warner. Stroud’s fitness levels were now becoming more apparent as they continue to display good attacking rugby from all positions on the pitch. Yet another scrum against the head by Matt Hunt saw Jake Marsh again elude three defenders in a forceful dash to the line. Sykes converted 8-21.
At this stage done Gordon was doing an admirable job at number 9 after Doyle had hobbled off. The now dominant Stroud pack was supplying regular ball and again this enabled Jake Marsh to complete his hat-trick after another cleverly crafted and elusive break. Sykes converted 8-28.
Chosen Hill then staged a remarkable comeback which brought them within 6 points of Stroud.The whole team put their bodies on the line and played “keep ball” for 5 minutes and they had the bruises to show for it afterwards. Sam Leworthy were particularly prominent at this stage and the team were elated at the final whistle.