Stratford make it four wins on the spin with bonus-point victory over struggling Droitwich
Droitwich 10-24 Stratford
Regional Two West Midlands
IN-FORM Stratford put the demons of last year’s defeat at Droitwich behind them as they recorded a well-deserved bonus-point victory at the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground.
The Black and Whites came unstuck to the Worcestershire side this time last year but they exacted their revenge on Saturday to record a fourth straight win and sixth in seven games.
Despite missing several first-team regulars, Stratford arrived with a strong squad hoping to exploit the size and space of the Droitwich pitch.
From the start, the Pearcecroft men set their stall out with their experienced pack buoyed by the return of previous captain Matt Cook helping to secure great possession in both the set-piece and loose play.
Following a controlled driving maul, current skipper Tom Stanley crashed over the line to add the first points, with the conversion narrowly missed by stand-off Gwilym Davis.
Further pressure led to centre Nathan Geekie forcing his way over the line under the posts to give Davis a simple conversion to add the extras.
Stung into action, Droitwich hit back with two unconverted tries of their own, taking the score to 12-10 in Stratford’s favour close to the half-time break.
However, in a great display of calmness under pressure, the ball found its way out wide to winger Charlie Powell, who hit the afterburners and left a number of defenders in his wake to score, giving his side a 17-10 advantage at the interval.
The second half saw Stratford dominate, rarely letting Droitwich out of their own half, but despite coming close to the try line, they were unable to convert the pressure into points.
As the game entered the final minutes, No. 8 Jack Young burst through a gaping hole in the tiring Droitwich defence and sprinted over the line to score under the posts, the drop goal conversion from Jordan Baker signalled the end of the game, with Stratford deservedly securing the bonus-point victory.
Stratford welcome close rivals Evesham to Pearcecroft on Saturday (2.15pm kick-off).