FOLLOWING their fourth placed finish at the last tournament, Stratford Ladies were looking to put in a performance that would keep them in the top four at the penultimate Midlands Ladies Touch League tournament of the season hosted by Cannock RFC.
Stratford struggled to switch on in their first match of the tournament and Pershore managed to exploit their lack of focus to get through their defence with ease, resulting in a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Their second game against Rugby did not see their performance improve. Stratford had beaten Rugby consistently to date but on this occasion they could not structure their defence well enough to stop the threat from Rugby’s speedy wingers and this resulted in a 3-0 loss for Stratford.
With a gap in play, Stratford had chance to regroup and focus and they looked like a completely different team against newcomers Greyhound.
The ladies managed to cross the line twice with a try from Sarah Wheeldon from the first play of the ball and quicker play and better concentration ultimately secured a 2-0 victory for Stratford.
With little time for recovery, Stratford faced Redditch, who had proved a tough opponent in the last tournament.
The newly-focused Stratford managed to push the opposition offside, which resulted in tries straight through the middle of Redditch’s defence by Caz Farris, Rachel Priestley and Nat Gisbourne.
Despite their poor start, Stratford came second in their pool, so faced top of the league Bromyard in the play-offs.The league leaders scored an early try in the first half and, despite some excellent play and a solid defence, Bromyard scored three breakaway tries.
In their final match of the tournament, Stratford faced local rivals Wellesbourne in the play-off for third place. The teams are neck and neck in the league, so it was always going to be a close match.
Sure enough, by the end of full time the score was 0-0, and the teams dropped a player every minute until Stratford’s speedy winger Laura Facey sprinted the width of the pitch to outpace Wellesbourne’s defence and score the sudden-death try and seal a third placed finish for Stratford.
With only one tournament left in the Midlands Ladies Touch League, Stratford have their sights set on a top four finish.
The team train on Tuesdays between 6.30-7.30pm at Pearcecroft, Loxley Road, Stratford.