Stroud start the New Year with a win
By joshua stratton
Stroud avenged their early-season defeat at Oldfield
Stroud avenged their early-season defeat at Oldfield but only just. Stroud in the first half had the lions share of possession but the backs found it hard to penetrate the staunch Oldfield defence. The pack provided plenty of ball from set pieces and the loose and early on a comfortable victory seemed inevitable. Stroud were dominant in the line out and gained several strikes against the head and the back row of Fruin Middlemiss and Higgins worked well together and were very effective,writes Sean Moore.
Stroud open the score with a penalty goal from Sam Hester 3-0, but a series of small errors dogged many Stroud attacks. Oldfield proved dangerous on the counter attack and showed excellent penetration from two forceful centres and a pair of speedy wings. Carl Ranscombe scored a deserved try in the corner following several phases and a well drilled catch and drive. Phil Middlemiss at number eight was proving hard to pull down and he linked well with scrumhalf Joe Hoyle on several occasions. Just before the interval Stroud gained a critical score. Jake Marsh received the ball 20 metres out, dummied to the right and to the left and slid straight through the gap to score an excellent individual try 15- nil.
Joe Hoyle left the field following some over vigorous rucking with the the Oldfield player receiving a yellow card but many felt a different colour would have been more appropriate. Dan Gordon came on at scrum-half and again showed his versatility with his lengthy passing adding a new dimension to the attack. Oldfield meanwhile were gradually chipping away at the Stroud lead and scored two well worked converted tries to bring the score to 18-14 but Stroud held out for a well-deserved win.
Stroud welcomed back to their own electronic scoreboard (aka Bill Endacott ) following his recent contact with the medical profession.Stroud venture into murky territory next week with a trip to Midsomer Norton.