Stroud came down to earth with a bump on their trip to the seaside
Stroud came down to earth with a bump on their trip to the seaside. Clevedon proved to be a strong, organized side who put Stroud under pressure from the start. They had the lion’s share of possession and territory and Stroud did not get into the opposition 22 until well into the second half writes Sean Moore.
Stroud’s pack displayed great effort but found it difficult to get the ball going forward. Clevedon had a beefy pack who, in the loose, took the ball at pace and consistently made good ground despite Stroud’s determined defence. They had a lively no.10 who caused no end of problems.
Stroud’s cause was not helped by a disputed early yellow card for Mark Phillips. When they did gain possession Stroud’s passing in the threes was not up to its usual standard. Steve Dunmore was prominent with his good catching and following up. Rob Higgins again displayed his all round skills in attack and defence. The threes generally were under a lot of pressure and concerted attacking movements were limited, although individually they all had phases of excellence. Jordan Phipps had a good all round game and was deservedly named ‘Man of the Match’.
At the break Stroud were 29 points down and in the second half showed glimpses of previous weeks’ form. Stroud rang the changes and it was good to see Sam Davies making his debut for the team. He quickly got stuck in and did everything that was asked of him. Stroud slowly got back into the game and, following good scrum ball, Phipps went blind and got the ball out to Sam Hester who, with his pace and dummy, created a gap for him to score in the corner.
In the dying moments Dan Gordon scored when he took a short inside pass and sliced through the defence to score under the posts. Rob Higgins converted in some style.
This result will hopefully galvanize the team and help them make a quick return to the skillful play which they have displayed so far this season. Next week sees Stroud go to Avonmouth in the County Cup.