Rugby Union
Stratford finish with a flourish

Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 19:30

Worcester Wanderers 20 Stratford 27

STRATFORD travelled to second place Worcester Wanderers and recorded a fine victory to lift them into fifth position in Midlands One West on Saturday.

The home side exerted all the early pressure which was soaked up by a determined Stratford defence.

Finally a penalty on 15 minutes was kicked by Worcester to nudge them into a three point lead.

From the restart the visitors at last got some momentum going. Forward carries by Flo Vialan and Geoff Dyson made good headway into the Worcester half and quick ball from stand-off Jack Young released full back Jo Cook who was able to offload to brother Callum who finished in style in the corner.

The Stratford pack were contesting and winning their fair share of the ball led by captain for the day flanker Jim Richardson and the front three of Dyson, Tommy Wright and Matt Butler held parity with their opposite numbers.

The home side continued to look dangerous and on the half hour mark they added a converted score when theire pack drove over from five metres out.

The Black and Whites responded again and on the stroke of half time Young slotted a penalty to reduce the arrears to 10-8.

Wanderers stretched their lead early in the second half after a period of sustained pressure on the Stratford line resulted in the home No 8 breaking free to touchdown a try which was converted.

Worcester continued to press but the Black and Whites continued to keep their shape in defence and repelled the surges.

Then on sixty minutes Stratford mounted an attack from which they scored. Firstly, Vialan carried the ball into Worcester territory the forwards continued to pick and go with Butler and Chris Cathcart prominent.

The ball was then gathered by No 8 Dave Pritchard and his long pass found centre Sam Kirby who glided past the Worcester defenders to score in the corner.

Five minutes later club captain James Kennedy entered the fray as a replacement and it was his run and chip and chase which was gathered by Jo Cook who scored under the posts. Kennedy added the extras.

Another move by the Stratford backline on 70 minutes again released Kirby who feinted a pass before stepping inside the covering defenders to score a try with Kennedy duly adding the extras.

Shell-shocked Worcester rallied but the superb defensive display from Stratford continued and they had to rely on a penalty with the last kick of the game to get within a score of the Black and Whites to gain a valuable bonus point.

Stratford travel to Hereford this Saturday, kick off 2.15pm.

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