Chipping Sodbury hit sticky patch
CHIPPING Sodbury Rugby Club are in danger of losing touch with the leaders after three losses in the last four league games.
Their last reverse was against near rivals in the table, Avonmouth Old boys, Sodbury going down 24-15.
It came hot on the heals of a narrow 30-27 defeat at Stroud, where Sodbury travelled on a mission to overturn the losing result from the teams’ last meeting.
Stroud spent much of the first quarter frustrated by the feverish defensive efforts of Sodbury but their first try came from a Sodbury penalty that didn’t find touch; their second was another longer range effort where they passed crisply and ran straight, with support giving plenty of options.
Sodbury finally made it into the home side’s 22 after half an hour, but were soon defending: Stroud scoring from a lofted a cross-field kick. Sodbury won their first points on the stroke of half-time when, after some solid work from the pack, Jon Cook slotted a 30m penalty.
On the second minute of the second half, Sodbury had their first try, after heading into Stroud’s 22 through six rucks. From 10m out Tom Head tapped the ball to himself, twisted and stepped past two men, was caught by the third but couldn’t be denied.
Sodbury received a yellow soon after but managed to keep scoring, with Dave Mouatt scoring in the far right corner before Jon Cook went in beneath the posts. He converted his own try and Sodbury had the lead.
Ill-discipline gave Stroud a shot at goal, which was duly slotted. The contest was even at 22 a-piece before the hosts took the lead once more after eight phases and a wide long pass. Aware that a bonus point was possible, Sodbury looked to score again. Bradley got his hands on the ball and set off for a score which tied the game again.
Stroud won the restart and controlled the ball through twelve phases until Sodbury cracked and gave away a penalty. It was stroked over from 30 metres to win the game, but the huge effort from Sodbury in the second half earned them 2 points.
Picture above shows Man of the Match Dan Bradley in action. Photo: Paul Rubery