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Stratford come from behind to seal victory

Malvern 5

Stratford 37

For the second time in November Stratford made the trip to Malvern in a bid to continue their form-building winning streak.

The teams traded early blows in trying to find the chink in the armour. Stratford conceded an early penalty which Malvern opted to kick for a line-out. The defence held firm to the barrage of carries before an interception attempt in the 22 left a simple two-on-one for Malvern’s winger to capitalize on and score in the corner for an early 5-0 advantage.

Stratford, eager to right their wrong, continued to apply significant pressure from the kick-off making life very difficult for a clean exit. Impressive defensive and breakdown work saw the referee award a penalty to Stratford which vice-captain Dan Whitby slotted over to reduce the gap to 5-3.

Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds
Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds

The visitors worked the pitch well by playing rugby in the right areas and being forceful in both attack and defence. This was soon rewarded with their opening try of the afternoon when a rampant run from captain Tom Stanley created chaos in the retreating Malvern line and when gaps appeared, Angus Wightman took advantage to finish the move for a 5-8 lead.

Stratford continued to apply momentous pressure to a Malvern side well known for taking teams apart if given the space. Following multiple phases and strong carries, Jonny Smith carved a beautiful line to score a well created try. A successful conversion extended the lead to ten points.

This score sparked the wounded Malvern team into life with strong carries from their main ball carriers in a bid to change the balance of power, but it was not enough to break the resilient and strong Stratford defence who repelled more than 15 phases.

Keen to finish the half on a high, Stratford continued to move the ball around and a well-worked backline play saw evergreen Jo Cook with room to pull strings and create space for former colt George Fox to score to make it 5-20 at the break.

Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds
Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds

Stratford started the second half in the same manner as they finished the first and Jack Young finished off a wonderful counter-attacking move to put the game even further out of reach of the hosts.

Jake Lowe targeted a tired Malvern defence by carving through before finding Whitby who didn’t need a second invitation to finish the run to take the score to 5-30 before second row work horse James Walton rounded things off with his first try for the club which was converted for a final score of 5-37 to hoist Stratford up to sixth in the Regional Two Midlands West table.

The 2nds were involved in a high scoring game which would have pleased the attacking coaches of both teams.

Stratford lost 30-47 in an entertaining encounter against Daventry 3rds despite a hat-trick of tries from returning No 8 Si Greenwood. There was also a try for George Guy and Sam Drew kicked two penalties and two conversions.

Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds
Action from Stratford 2nds v Daventry 3rds

On Saturday, the 1sts are at home to Worcester while the 2nds host Alcester. Both games at Pearcecroft kick-off at 2.15pm.

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