1XV - Report
Never say die Stroud gain that elusive win
After last tasting victory in October, Stroud came good on Saturday at Fromehall Park in a nail biting game that saw the lead change hands several times.
Stroud took charge from the kick off and exerted considerable presrure on the Whitehall defence, but, as had happened many times this season, a score was not forcoming. This was compounded in the 16th minute when, in their first attack, Whitehall ran the ball and sliced through the Stroud defence for a try which was converted for 7-0.
Undeterred, Stroud kept plugging away and were on the scoreboard after 27 minutes when Ian Bushell landed a penalty goal. The home side kept up the attack and were rewarded after 39 minutes when they ran a penalty for offside and Mark Walker just found enough space to squeeze over in the corner for a try. Bushell kicked a magnificent conversion from the touchline.
In Injury time,Phil Fruin was used as a blood replacement for Callum Gibbs and Whitehall had a man dispatched to the sin bin but Stroud were good value for their 10-7 half time lead.
Liam Hopkins replaced the injured Adam Tarplee for the second half but, after the long injury stoppage, it was Whitehall who looked the sharper side and it was no surprise when they equalised after 47 minutes with a penalty goal. Ten minutes later, the visitors were in front when they moved the ball along the line for an unconverted try.
Back came Stroud and, after 62 minutes,following good ball won by Joe Hopkins, the ball went along the line to give Walker his second try of the afternoon. Bushell converted and Stroud were back in front at 17-15.
The game changed again on 70 minutes when Adesina Obileye found himself in the sin bin and Whitehall took advantage thee minutes from time when a penalty goal gave them a one point lead.
Stroud upped the pace agin and took play into the Whitehall half. The return of Obileye gave them added impetus and they went looking for the winning score. It came in the fifth minute of injury time when Whitehall were penalised for not staying on their feet at a ruck and Bushell calmly slotted the deciding penalty. Stroud then closed out the remainder of the game for a deserved 20-18 victory.
An impressive debut for young Tom Flannagan with some whippet like runs on the wing were backed up by performances from Lord Toon, Sam Cook, sublime place kicking from Iain Bushell and the guts of man of the match Adesina Obileye.
Stroud: C.Toon; M.Walker, H.Foote, I.Bushell, T.Flannagan; L.Brokkes, C.Gibbs; O.Smith(capt), S.Cook, J.Stratton, A.Obileye, J.Hopkins, P.Middlemiss, S.Dunmore, A.Tarplee (rep L.Hopkins)