DURSLEY lost their first ever league match against Stroud by the narrowest of margins.

A late converted try by the visitors was all that separated the sides in a hard-fought local derby. Although the wet and windy conditions did not suit Dursley’s open running game, they made a positive start.

Flanker Jack Rowe made a good pick up of a loose ball but Dursley failed to capitalise on the break. Good kicking to touch by full back Ed Sheldon kept Stroud pinned inside their own 22. When the run of play swung in favour of Stroud the Dursley defence held strong. More well placed kicks by Sheldon and captain Tom Broomfield kept the pressure on, but a hard fought first half ended at 0-0.

Stroud managed to build some good possession in the Dursley half but the defence were up to the task again and the big boot of Matt Billett relieved the pressure. From this field position Dursley managed to turn the ball over and also win a penalty, which Billett just pushed wide of the mark. With the wind in their faces strong runs by Sean Hughes and Simon Camm were vital on the territory front. The game seemed destined for a 0-0 draw but the Stroud pressure finally earned them a penalty. It was pushed just wide but was not gathered cleanly by Broomfield and from the resulting scrum the away team managed put together a couple of phases and Grant Nash scored a try under the posts, with Craig Jones adding the conversion on 72 minutes.

Dursley rallied and managed to camp inside the Stroud 22.

With numerous penalties against the away team on their own five metre line, Dursley eyes turned to the referee in hope of a penalty try, but there was no answer and when a dubious penalty was awarded to Stroud the game was over.

Dursley have no game until January 5, when they visit Whitehall.