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Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 09:39
Barkers Butts 24 Stratford 36
A FINE display earned Stratford a bonus point Midlands One West win at local rivals Barkers Butts on Saturday.
The old adage a game of two halves was most appropriate to a match which saw Stratford leading 36–0 at half time only for Barkers to score 24 unanswered points in the second period.
Barkers got the game under way in dull, overcast conditions and a large crowd, swelled by a reunion of ex-players, hardly had time to draw breath as a backs move saw debutant Sam Kirby execute a well timed pass to full back Jo Cook who burst through the home defence to score under the posts. Simon Brain duly added the extras.
The Stratford forwards were winning plenty of ball and with the home side conceding a number of penalties eventually, on 15 minutes, they conceded one in range for Brain to kick the points.
The home side desperately tried to get back into the match however there first foray into the Stratford 22 after 17 minutes led to another score for the Black & Whites.
Winger Callum Cook intercepted a pass and raced a full 80 metres to score in the corner and Brain again slotted the ball between the uprights.
It was all Stratford as the forwards and backs, working like a well oiled machine, continued to look dangerous and it was no surprise that after 24 minutes another superb move carved open the home defence and Jo Cook scored again under the posts.
Another score on 35 minutes came from the ever impressive Stratford centre Jack Young following some good team work and, on the stroke of half time, Brain scored in the corner with his resulting conversion attempt hitting the post.
Stratford seemed to lose their way after the half time break as errors crept into their game and this gave an opportunity to the home side to get onto the scoreboard with two unconverted tries in the space of four minutes.
Opportunities were there for the visitors to add to their half time score but the first half fluency had gone withdropped passes and wrong decisions not aiding their cause.
In the final quarter, Stratford had to weather an onslaught from Barkers who were now being roared on by a vocal crowd and following a forward drive they got a third score, this time converted, on 70 minutes.
The home side got a fourth converted score with the last play of the match to earn themselves a bonus point.
Stratford, who are seventh in the table, entertain Berkswell & Balsall this Saturday (2.15pm).
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