Old Patesians 2nd XV 31
The match was preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of club stalwart Keith Fruin who died recently, writes Sean Moore.
Old Pats exerted early pressure and were rewarded with a penalty goal, 0-3. Stroud responded by declining to take an easy penalty kick and subsequent play led to Harry Debieux running powerfully to score near the posts. Joe Ashenford converted, 7-3. Ashenford made many long runs down the centre of the field. One led to a ruck and Phil Fruin picked up and raced down the blindside to score in the corner. His dad would have been proud, 12-3.
Pats were getting regular ball and Stroud’s defence were tested frequently but they stood up to the challenge. The cause, however, was not helped when Zinzan Cremmins was given a yellow card for a technical offence. Old Pats seized the opportunity for a try when their winger gathered a cross-kick to score in the corner, 12-10. Old Pats were now playing with confidence and added another penalty goal and try, bringing the half-time score to 12-20.
After the break, Chris Toon again displayed his deceptive pace and swerve and made a penetrating sixty metre run down the centre. Shortly afterwards, Jake Marsh was feet away from the line when he was tackled. Old Pats were now getting the lion’s share of the territory and gradually increased their lead, benefitting from some accurate placekicking. Stroud, however, countered and the impressive Sam Leworthy ran strongly to score after having been set free by Joe Ashenford. Joe converted the try to bring the final score to 22-31.
Stroud lost their unbeaten run but can have no complaints. They had four or five clear chances which could have been converted had there been better support. This was particularly the case when Joe Ashenford’s alertness and speed off the mark made it difficult for players to keep up with him. Although possession was 50/50 Old Pats made better use of the ball and their decision-making was sharper. The return match in February should indeed be interesting viewing.