Five Valleys Bragging Rights Secured with victory over Painswick
By russell vale
Stroud U14’s win a County Cup fixture on the back of their victory over Minch
Red vs Blue. Local derby. County Cup fixture. Painswick vs Stroud. Yet another chance for schoolmates to battle each other and earn bragging rights at school. Stroud had certainly enjoyed the Minch bragging rights and wanted more of the same.
To add a little bit of spice to the fixture there had been some out-of-season transfers between the squads. Red to Blue transfers don’t happen that often in sport. Liverpool to Everton, Man Utd to Man City, Arsenal to Spurs (away kit). Stroud got a BOGOF deal. The twins Haydn and Euan. Painswick got centre Archie in exchange. Two Seniors for a Junior……
It was nice to see Stu and Archie again. Stu was a bit agitated because of the threat of his footballers getting injured after Dave had man handled two of them a combined 76 yards backwards at the Minch game. 7 were on the pitch this week - 4 for Stroud (Ryan was absent) - and were looking to secure bragging rights against each other as well.
Stroud were back to nearly full strength with a strong squad to choose from. Painswick had some more players this year so were able to field a full team but uncontested scrums were the order of the day, and Stroud’s subs depth would probably be to their advantage later in the game.
Liam and Arthur were back from injury, but Fin was missing due to a school rugby injury. The coaching staff were carrying injuries as well – fuzzy heads, bloated tummies, dehydration, and aching livers – but that was courtesy of Mr Gambles 50th birthday party the night before and his ample helpings of cheese and onion rolls, Star Wars birthday cake, Stowfords and Doom Bar….. The kids knew the warm up drills and the squad selection policy so handled themselves before the game with our normal routines.
The weather was perfect – crisp and cold but dry. Quite apt for Bonfire Night morning. Would there be fireworks like last night? Could Painswick extinguish the Stroud fire? Who would Sparkle the most ?
Forwards: Stoner, Orgy, Liam, Darion, Lucas, Sauce, Euan, Keyan
Backs: Hilly, Will, Dave, Arthur, Josh, Nibbler, Alex
Subs: Mr T, Jedd, Laurie, Haydn, Tom, Joe, Callum, Flash, Eddie
Stroud kicked off short and won a turnover. Liam, back from injury, had 3 weeks of pent up energy to burn off so started this off with a typical crash ball barrelling run. The forwards kept the ball close and then it came out to the backs. Keyan took the ball on and seemed destined to score but the brave Painswick full back chopped him down to the surprise of everyone. The forwards showed good support to win the ruck and the ball came out to Josh who was tackled just short but he passed inside to Will and as a try line pile of bodies formed it was left to Euan to pick up the ball and score the first try. The kick was missed from wide. 5-0 to Stroud.
Painswick kicked off and Will caught the ball and then kicked for space. Painswick did well to run it back but Lucas and Sauce combined to force a knock on. Stroud ‘won’ the uncontested scrum and attacked left. Dave cut back inside and brushed off some tackles and scored under the posts. Easy conversion for a 12-0 lead.
The next phase of the game was almost identical. This time we thought we had recovered Will’s kick and about to score under the posts but ref Jo awarded a penalty to Painswick. They won their lineout but knocked on in the tackle from Euan and Orgy. Stroud won the scrum and attacked left again and again Dave cut back inside to exploit the size of their #10, but this time he had to run further to the right to score the try which Will just missed the conversion. 17-0 to Stroud and the subs started to happen.
Liam ran back the kick off and was tackled well by Painswick Archie but the ball was lost in resulting phases. Painswick attacked back down the left wing but good tackling from Nibbler stopped the try. Painswick were quick to recycle the ball though and their nippy scrum half saw a gap and dived over for a try that was expertly converted from wide.
At the restart Painswick were quick to attack again and kept the ball alive well with their big #12. More good tackling from Nibbler and Jedd slowed them down but Painswick weren’t to be denied. From a lineout they made good ground through but Alex stopped them scoring. It was all in vain though because their scrum half picked up the ball and dived over in the corner for an unconverted try and a 17-12 scoreline. Painswick had shown great heart to come back into the game and Stroud knew they needed to re-focus and re-impose themselves on the game.
Stroud won a turnover at the restart and this gave Darion and Stoner a good platform to go on some bruising runs. The Painswick forwards and backs got sucked in to try and slow them down with Painswick Archie showing good tackling skills on his friends in blue. They couldn’t force turnovers though and Hilly passed to Will who saw the chance with an excellent long range pass to Keyan who was hiding on the left wing and he scored a try that Will converted to stretch the lead to 24-12.
Next restart and Sauce ran it back well – he’s much better at running than cycling his bike. That 6 metres of sticky tape to hold his injured arm and wrist in a locked position was also enough to stick the ball tightly in his grip. Eventually after a few more rucks Stroud knocked on and Painswick attacked back from their scrum. Callum was there with a good tackle. Painswick were showing great spirit though and kept the ball alive and attacked left. Just as we thought they were going to run in a try Nibblers left eye socket brought down the wingers knee and the threat was over. While the coaching crew attended to Nibbler (come back Delia - Stroud RFC need you more than Glos NHS) the play went in the opposite direction and was last seen with Stoner chopped down with another good tackle but expert offload to Arthur to score his 1st try of the season wide right. 29-12 to Stroud.
Painswick kicked off and Will ran it back and this time Liam and Stoner took on the pounding runs with expert close support play. Joe had a good run down the right wing. Stroud won a lineout and set up a driving maul to keep Painswick retreating on their heels. This set up one of the trademark backs moves with Hilly quickly passing to Will who threw a long pass to Alex who quickly shovelled it onto Josh who lit the Guy Fawkes rocket and sprinted down the left wing and had enough speed to cruise under the posts as well for another easy kick as the half time whistle blew
Half time: Painswick 12 - 36 Stroud
More subs were taken as Stroud were reminded that they needed to defend a lot better. Haydn trotted onto the pitch to face his former team mates. Keyan was given a rest but his shirt refused to leave the pitch so New Tom (I need a nickname!) wore it.
Painswick kicked off and Mr T ran it back powerfully. Will went for a clever gruber kick down the wing but the ball squirted out of play. Painswick lost their lineout in the swirling wind and Flash recovered the ball and it resulted in Dave taking a crash ball, crashed off about 4 tackles, and then crashed over the line for a try under the posts. Best not give him driving lessons yet if that’s how he navigates around the rugby pitch….. Another good kick from Will for a 43-12 lead.
Painswick kicked off and TIBS (Tom In Borrowed Shirt) did well to catch it under pressure and run it back. Clean ball was taken on by Haydn. The teams traded tackles and turnovers with Laurie and Mr T enjoying the disjointed play. Eddie was imposing himself in the rucks which gave Flash clean ball that he used to give Dave a gap on the right to exploit. He was forced out of play though by the Painswick fullback who was felling Stroud players as if he was a lumberjack felling trees. Painswick attacked from the lineout but Mr T and Eddie tackled well to force a penalty infringement.
Stroud took a tap penalty and Sauce attacked at pace. His bandaged arm fending off the Painswick tacklers. The ball game out to Dave and then Joe on the right wing and he would his way along the touchline and was unlucky to be called out of play. Painswick won the lineout and TIBS did a good tackle that Laurie then secured a turnover. Eddie went on a strong run. Ball came out and Keyan cut inside and scored under the posts (conversion good) for a 50-12 lead.
Keyan returned the kick off but was tackled out of play. Painswick won their lineout and went straight again but Euan did a good tackle. Their scrum half got the ball and kicked long. Alex managed to recover it with a beautiful side step under pressure from the chasing scrum half. The ball came out quickly through the backs and Will found Josh with another long pass. Josh sprinted up the left wing but Painswick did well to close him down. He managed to slip an inside pass to Will who then saw Arthur sprinting in support. A simple pass released Arthur to rampage down the left flank and he returned the favour by sprinting under the posts to give Will a much easier conversion. 57-12 to Stroud now.
The last passage of the game was Mr T dominated. That was what was on the shirt we saw running all over the pitch. Then we realised when Keyan had subbed back on his shirt was worn by TIBS so he grabbed Mr T’s shirt. Keyan eventually scored down the left wing and Will kicked the conversion to make it 64-12 as full time whistle went.
Full time: Painswick 12 - 64 Stroud
It was great to see Painswick in stronger shape than they were 6 months ago. Their new players are making a difference to them and when they’ve had more experience they should be a bigger force to contend with and we can have a Tri-nations championship of the Five Valleys along with Minch. I wonder if Sky will pay for the broadcasting rights if they can’t agree terms with SA, NZ and Australia?
Lucas set a new Guinness world record. He had more post-match hot dogs than tackles. And I counted 12 tackles in the game – but then again my match reports are not known that well for their accuracy are they stato Arthur?
The match reporter walked upto Stu to re-kindle the Vale-Evans Sunday morning Bromance and realised he had also being taking match notes. Perhaps Stu had left Stroud to further his sports journalism career? The reporters compared notes and then I realised that Stu was a bit light on content and just keeping tabs on his Rodboro footballers:
Full back Matt.......Dave....................Matt wins best tackle
Painswick Team....Dave....................Dave scored more tries
Scrum half Lofty....Stroud Team.......2 tries to poacher Lofty
Scrum half Lofty....Alex.....................Alex wins best side step in kick return
Scrum half Lofty....Hilly.....................Quickest pass to a #10 won by Hilly
Centre Archie........Liam......................Best tackle on a marauding prop by Archie
Centre Archie........Nibblers Left Eye..Best tackle by a left eye socket for Nibbler
Centre Archie........Mr T & Jedd..........Archie wins Best performance with USA jetlag
Scrum half Lofty....Hilly......................Best left foot on a football pitch – a draw……
Full Time: Painswick 4.5 - 4.5 Stroud
Next week its County Cup again and winner takes all against Cinderford.