Wellington faced a Stroud side that were third in the league on Saturday at the Athletic Field. Chiefs ground has become somewhat of a fortress in recent weeks, however, and this young Wellington team were no respecters of league positions.
Early pressure was exerted by the visitors but the home defence was, at times nothing short of brutal as the hit back the opposition. On twenty minutes Wellington got into the visitor’s half for the first time and Will Brewer, standing in at 10 for the injured Matt Parsons broke through the home defence without anyone laying a hand on him for the opening score. Tom Hawkings added the extras.
Stroud came back at Wellington again but the hits put in by the whole Welly team, but Joe Dyke and Harry Ramsay in particular were nothing short of bone shaking. The hosts got into the visitors 22 again and when they conceded a penalty Hawkings made no mistake.
With growing confidence the back line started running terrific lines with Ben Gamlin and Neville Pitman causing chaos in the visiting defence. On the stroke of half time a further penalty was stroked over by Hawkings to make it 13 nil.
With the slope in the second half, and the fact that Wellington are such a young side, expectations were high among the home support for an entertaining forty minutes.
Hawkings slotted another penalty on 48 minutes with the hosts showing a killer instinct that has sometimes been missing this year. On 55 minutes Micky Norman picked up at the base and showing skill and aggression as he had all afternoon drove over the line. Hawkings conversion meant Stroud were now facing a mountain to climb to claw their way back into the match.
The line out which functioned really well all afternoon provided the base for the next try. An untidy knock back fell into the arms of Liam Phillips and as he came around the corner the space opened up in front of him to score under the posts.
The final try was a real treat. Micky Norman broke out of defence and fed Ben Williams. He bumped his man before moving in field looking for support where he found George Hodgson steaming up the middle. His pace took him around the last defender to score under the posts leaving Hawkings with the easiest of conversions.
To Stroud’s credit they refused to lie down and turned down kickable penalties in an attempt to score a try. The Wellington back division which by now contained no-one over the age of 21 refused to yield however and Stroud left pointless. This was a real squad effort with everyone from 1 to 18 playing their part in a magnificent effort.
Match Report: Mike Brewer