GRFU Plate Final U17s
Stroud & Dursley 16 Cinderford 13
A SUCCESSFUL penalty from fly-half Ollie Greensweig in the second half secured silverware for Stroud and Dursley in what proved to be their last ever game played as a joint side.
Stroud and Dursley had played Cinderford on three separate occasions in the season, having secured a win each and a draw so this was always likely to be a tight affair.
Cinderford started the stronger, holding field possession for much of the first half.
Some strong defence from the Stroud and Dursley pack ensured that the line was not breached, with some great spoiling play from Alex Watson and Jack Taylor, but when second row Joe Newnes was yellow carded following persistent infringements by the team, Cinderford managed to score a try in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful.
Stroud and Dursley came straight back, though, and whilst still down a man the ball was spread out following good forward play as Joe Ashenford fed Greensweig, who was just able to score.
Cinderford scored another try, before the best move of the match from Stroud and Dursley.
From Will Flight's lineout, Tom Pitts secured the ball five metres out from the line. Scrum half Ashenford made the ball available to the backs and Rhys Willament and captain Aaron Raath executed a fantastic scissors move with Raath going over for the try. Greensweig missed the extras, meaning the score was 10-10 at half-time.
The second half started strongly for Stroud and Dursley. An excellent kick-off was gathered by Leigh Lord, and as the ball was moved into the Cinderford 22, Greensweig was hit with a high tackle.
He got up to slot the resulting penalty.
Cinderford, though, were not deterred and won a penalty themselves following some indiscipline at the breakdown.
With the score level again at 13-13, more strong breaks by Willament and Raath, as well as some great forward play from the whole pack, meant the ball rarely left the Cinderford half.
Cinderford came up offside in their own 22, leaving Greensweig with a simple kick to regain the lead.
With time running out Stroud and Dursley continued to press, keeping the ball out of their own half and not allowing Cinderford any time or possession.
A great run from replacement Will Sealey, as well as strong play from Harry Collins and Jacob Seal, could also have resulted in scoring opportunities before the final whistle signalled celebrations on the pitch.