Tribute Western Counties North

Stroud 73 Coney Hill 0

PETER SYKES bagged five tries for Stroud in an emphatic shredding of Coney Hill, writes Sean Moore.

The league leaders took a long time to get into scoring mode with the big Coney Hill side exerting pressure in the tight and also in the loose. After a slow start in which Stroud were not helped by a series of handling mistakes, things began to change when Joe Hoyle scored the first try following incisive running by Phipps and Regan Herbert. Kurtis Herbert converted and went on to complete nine successful kicks.

Kurtis Herbert scored the next try by racing in from 50 metres following a blistering run by Sykes who had an outstanding game, 14-0. Skipper Dan Smith then plundered down the middle, setting up a play that enabled Sam Leworthy to score under the posts, 21-0. The final try of the half saw Sykes make excellent progress down the wing from his own twenty-two. He then cross-kicked to the supporting Joe Hoyle who sent Phipps in under the posts, 28-0.

Following the break, Sykes continued his rich vein of form when he kicked ahead, regained possession and went over in the corner, 35-0. Next, a long bullocking run by Regan Herbert saw him go over the line for a try which his brother converted, 42-0. Stroud now brought on the bench and Joe Ashenford followed in Hoyle’s footsteps, providing an excellent link with the backs, and he showed his instant acceleration when he scored near the posts following some powerful forward drives, 49-0.

A sublime back of the hand pass by Joe Owen released Sykes who duly scored and then repeated the play, bringing his personal tally to five tries – a feat only bettered in the past by Keith Daniels some 40 years ago, 61-0. Sam Davies, who was relishing his opportunity to display his tackling skills, then demonstrated his pace when he scored following a ruck on the opposition twenty-two, 68-0.

The final try was perhaps the best. Jake Marsh gained the ball near his own line and initiated a long distance run of play with fingertip passing by some seven or eight players. This ended with Marsh rejoining the move to score at the other end. Herbert inexplicably missed the conversion under the posts, but he had done his bit, 73-0.

Coney Hill kept competing to the end and their young side showed good spirit and no little skill. Stroud’s excellent form was based on forward dominance, particularly in the second half when fitness levels began to show. Their tackling throughout was of the highest order. Stroud next play on Saturday at home against Gordano.