Plucky Stroud U15s win County Plate
STROUD U15s lifted the County Plate at Hartpury College after a narrow victory over Bristol outfit Cleve.
And coach Richard Stonebridge was delighted to see all the hard work come to fruition, he said: “We (the coaches) are immensely proud of the entire squad and their efforts throughout the season. To win this final is a fantastic end to the season and reflects the hard work in training by all the lads since last September.”
Stroud started brightly, but the first score went to Cleve after 10 minutes.
Stroud responded, with the line-out working well, allowing the team to gain large amounts of territory and possession. Eventually, the pressure told with a Stroud try out wide following a rolling maul from a line-out.
With the two sides evenly matched, Stroud scored next with a converted try, some massive runs and offloads to go from half way to under the posts.
Cleve came back hard just before half-time with a converted try of their own, precise interlinking play by the backs unlocked the Stroud defence to score under the posts as the game finished 12-12 at the break.
The second-half was very tense. Cleve spent the first 10 minutes deep in the Stroud half, but they held firm. Cleve fluffed a penalty chance. Stroud responded - narrowly failing to score, but from a penalty for offside, added a further three points.
Again Cleve attacked with intense pressure on the Stroud line. It looked inevitable Cleve would score, but the Stroud pack prevented three try scoring opportunities with last-ditch scrambling defence in the corners.
In the last few moments, Stroud made their way up field and used up the final seconds with a final line-out. At the final whistle, Stroud won by a single score, 15 points to 12.