STRATFORD kept their cool as they hung on for victory in a see-saw contest with South West 1 East strugglers Bicester on Saturday.
Tries from Dan Whitby (2), skipper Jo Cook, Charlie Powell and Ben Cole steered the Black and Whites to their 12th win of the season, but they were made to work hard for it by a fired-up Bicester side.
The home side played the majority of the game with 14 men after Shaun Reddish was shown the red card for a late shoulder charge on Cook, just after he scored his try.
“It was ironic as the red card actually galvanised them,” said Cook, who was knocked out by Reddish’s rash challenge.
“After the sending off they put together a reasonable display and the game was a lot closer than we anticipated.
“They were a very different team to who we played earlier on in the season and they had a lot of support there cheering them on.
“I think they pinpointed the game as a bit of a final rally and it made for an entertaining match.”
Stratford’s final game of their South West 1 East season, the last under the leadership of Tom Rance, takes place this Saturday against Chippenham at Pearcecroft.
The club will also be holding an end-of-season lunch for supporters.