Stratford U14s chalk up another well-earned victory
Bicester U14s 12-34 Stratford U14s
DESPITE having no substitutes available to them, Stratford U14s put in a real shift to secure victory over Bicester on Sunday.
The kick-off was caught by Dan Allison, who ran at the defensive line with great power to gain Stratford some meters.
This happened repeatedly before the ball was turned over and Bicester scored an unconverted try in the left-hand corner.
Charles Squires kicked the ball down the pitch, using the wind to full advantage and the U14s sprinted to catch up with it.
The hosts fought for a long time until they passed the ball from their centre to the winger, who ran down the pitch and put the ball down over the try line.
This try was converted from their fly half. After a few reminders from the coaches, Squires restarted.
The young Black and Whites turned the ball over and Ed Irwin ran through their defence to score an unconverted try in the right corner.
The U14s were playing well as a team at this point.
Leo Petch caught the ball from the restart and hit the defensive line with two players either side of him to protect it in the breakdown.
Stratford recycled the ball and their forwards gained ground before winger Charlie Billings caught the ball and skipped through many tackles to put the ball down in the right corner.
This try went unconverted.
Stratford were bursting with pride as they gathered the ball from the restart and hooker Matthew Belcher sprinted down the touchline and dived over the try line to score on the right wing.
Again, this was unconverted.
The next restart came quickly as Allison caught it, offloaded it to Oli Pearson, who passed it to Squires.
He then moved the ball to Irwin to score in the right corner for another unconverted try.
As the half-time whistle sounded, Stratford had a 20-12 lead.
Squires kicked the ball to just beyond the 10m line and the U14s rucked and tackled like their lives depended on it.
They managed to get the ball from Bicester after many breakdowns and Allison, breaking through tackles, ran down the pitch to score in between the posts.
The conversion was slotted through the posts by Irwin.
The score at this point was 27-12 to Stratford, but with no subs, they were feeling tired with five more minutes to go.
Stratford received the ball from the restart and did all they could to get the ball further up the pitch to give them a chance for a final score.
The ball found its way to Belcher, who ran down the right wing, beating the full-back in a foot race before running to the posts and placing the ball in the middle.
This try was converted by Irwin once again to complete the scoring.