Dursley 10 Stroud 38
DURSLEY’S fate looks set to be decided in the GRFU committee room after defeat at home to Stroud confirmed they will finish in the bottom two.
With uncertainty hanging over the number of teams to be relegated from Gloucester Premier, Dursley could still retain their status next season.
If only one team goes down, Dursley could stay up if they win at Tewkesbury on the final day of the season on Saturday, April 12, but defeat would give bottom side Southmead the chance to leapfrog them by beating Painswick, with bonus points also likely to be a factor.
On a warm spring afternoon at Hounds Green, it was always going to be tough ask of Dursley to close down the free running rugby of the Stroud back line.
Stroud sprang into action on 10 minutes with Sam Leworthy running onto an inside pass after a mazy run from the ever dangerous Pete Sykes to score under the posts, and convert his try.
On 15 minutes Dan Gordan retrieved possession on the halfway line. After weaving his way through the Dursley defence to the opposition 22 he threw a deft overhead pass to the supporting Harry Phillips, setting him up with a clear run to the line for an unconverted try.
Dursley regrouped and made a number of decisive line breaks themselves, with good cover defence from Stroud preventing them getting a score.
But on 30 minutes Stroud progressed deep into the Dursley half and after a series of drives and penalty advantages being played, the ball squirted out to Dan Gordan.
He pirouetted out of the Dursley tackles and placed the ball over the line unopposed, Leworthy kicking the conversion.
Before half-time Stroud were down to 14 men when Chris Jones was sin-binned for retaliation, but after the restart Dursely were again on the back foot. On 45 minutes, Phillips duly rounded the Dursley defence for his second try of the game.
It seemed that the floodgates were about to open but instead Dursley hit back within five minutes following a series of drives that saw them rewarded with a try for captain Scott Udal close to the touch line.
On 55 minutes Gordan put Stroud deep in the Dursley 22 with a clever cross field kick. The hard working pack secured possession from the breakdown, Matt Hunt running with speed onto a flat pass to barge over the try line near the posts. Leworthy slotted the conversion.
On 70 minutes, Dursley again gifted Stroud a try when a fumble in midfield was pounced on by Harry Foote to run in from the 22, Leworthy adding the conversion.
To their credit Dursley never gave up and at the death were rewarded with their second try, again scored by Udal, after Stroud failed to clear their lines.