Stratford beat Midlands One West basement boys Wolverhampton to extend unbeaten home run
STRATFORD firmly consolidated fourth in the Midlands One West table with a 19-0 victory over basement boys Wolverhampton on Saturday.
Before kick-off there was a presentation of a new change strip to the gold and blue colours of Old Edwardians, kindly donated by long-standing stalwart Ken Holley.
The match began with the usual vociferous home fans in fine form and the hosts playing into a strong breeze.
Strong forward play saw Stratford gain some territory and after some neat inter-play by the back, Josh Bloomfield broke through to score close to the posts for his first try of the season, fly-half Nathan Geekie added the extras for 7-0.
The game entered a period of ebb and flow, with the Stratford scrum dominant, curiously coming under scrutiny of the referee on more than one occasion.
As a result of a great scrum, a quick ball was secured by scrum half and eventual man-of-the-match Will Mathews to his back line and great footwork by centre Jack Young put winger Dan Whitby in the corner.
Geekie missed the extras from a tight angle, giving Stratford a 12-0 lead.
Wolverhampton came back strongly, belying their current position and showing why their defensive record is one of the strongest in the entire league.
They took the game to Stratford and only solid defence kept them from opening their account.
Just before half-time, Geekie was given a ten-minute rest following a yellow card for infringing at the ruck, but Stratford never looked like conceding and saw the time out comfortably.
Tactical changes, and one for a calf injury to skipper Matt Cook, saw a well-deserved first XV debut for Tom Taylor.
Whilst Wolverhampton continued to press, Stratford’s superior fitness began to tell and several great breaks from full-back Jo Cook, and speedster Charlie Powell, constantly peppered the Wolves line.
From possibly the best move of the game, Bloomfield stepped and glided through the defence and unselfishly popped the ball inside to his centre partner Young to score under the posts, with Geekie calmly slotting the conversion to take the final score to 19-0.