After a traumatic year for Stroud, the team got the season off to a flyer with a 38-17 opening-day victory over Old Cryptians IIs, writes Sean Moore.
Cryptians initially took the game to Stroud with some deft handling whilst Stroud were a little bit rusty in this department and missed four or five tries because of this.
Eventually, however, their efforts were rewarded when Tom Warner gleefully barrelled over near the posts. Joe Ashenford converted and was successful with four of the conversions in all. Ashenford had a very influential game and the opposition found it hard to contain his darting elusive runs, 5-7.
Proud new father, Sam Leworthy, then completed a move following a quickly taken penalty, 5-12. Next, the effervescent Tom Flanagan finished a flowing move to score in the corner. Ashenford converted, 5-19.
Stroud’s pack were beginning to get the upper hand with both the scrum and the lineout going well whilst the wiley back row players stifled many a Cryptians’ attack. Old Cryptians scored a try just before half-time, 12-19.
Stroud then began to pull away and the speedy, sinuous running of winger Sam Strange gained two further tries. The icing on the cake came in the last minute when the super-fit Jake Marsh snaffled up a loose ball on his own line and proceeded to run the length of the pitch to score under the posts.
All in all, a promising display by a team who showed great enthusiasm and no little skill.
Next week’s local derby against Minchinhampton should be a corker.