Stow rugby side return to winning ways

First published in Sport

STOW-on-the-Wold Rugby Club got their Southern Counties North season back on track with a 31-15 home win over Royal Wootton Bassett.

Apart from a walk-over against basement boys Swindon College Old Boys, the Cotswold side had struggled for league results since beating Alchester 17-6 on November 23.

But this time Stow had secured their try bonus point by the break before sustaining a fightback from the visitors after half-time in challenging conditions.

Stow came out all guns blazing and were a try to the good before Wootton Bassett had even touched the ball.

A decisive break by fly-half George Roddan split the defence then a neat pass to Geoff Flather saw him score close to the posts with Nick Cafearo converting.

The visitors were struggling to get into the game with the Stow forwards providing plenty of ball.

Roddan made another telling break, Dave Lane was close at hand to take possession close to the try line and, with forwards in support, Chris Pouseland scored. Caffearo converted.

The visitors now had woken up and opened their account with a penalty but this was immediately cancelled out by Cafearo.

From some sustained pressure, quick ball resulted in James Holmes crashing over, leaving Cafearo to add the extras.

Just before the break, there was time for Craig Chapman to drive over from close range and again Cafearo was on target with the conversion.

Just after the break, the weather broke as torrential rain and strong winds dictated play.

Wootton Bassett now had the elements in their favour and they used them well, pinning Stow back.

From a penalty, they kicked to the corner and, from the resulting line-out, drove over for a converted try.

Stow held firm for a short period before they were back in their own 22.

An attacking scrum close in saw the Wootton Bassett number eight pick up and drive over for the last score of the match.

The final 15 minutes saw Stow defend well but struggle due to the conditions in staying in the opponents' half.

The final whistle ended a good game in which half was played in what can only be described as challenging conditions.

Stow's next league game is at home to Wallingford on Saturday, February 8.

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