Pats make it 5 from 5
By Connor Thompson
Bonus point win v league newcomers
Old Patesians - 27
Stratford-upon-Avon - 20
Pats made it five out of five and leap frogged rivals Banbury to go top of the table in South West one East. By half time the home side had a commanding of seventeen points to three lead with tries from three quarters Jimmy Gahan, Lee Hathaway and Matt Dean.
Pats stole line out ball on halfway and Dean broke wide, his powerful fend and offload to Gahan saw the winger finish well. When Dean’s outrageous Sonny Bill style pass found Hathaway and the youngster outflanked the defence for a second unconverted try. In fine form, it was Dean again whose break and fend off saw him crash through midfield for Pat’s third try converted by Hathaway after twenty minutes of play.
With Pats playing at a pace the visitor’s couldn’t cope with, they dominated possession and territory but failed to convert their scoring chances. First to the breakdown every time, Pats openside flanker Tom Langton constantly thwarted the visitors’ attempts to slow the ball down but after a try saving tackle he was adjudged to be not moving away and was shown yellow. Stratford’s Toby Jones took the three points but missed the chance to further narrow the gap when another penalty went wide as half time approached.
Looking to play in the opposition half and close the game out, Pats kept it tight and kicked for territory as the second half got underway. Gahan secured the bonus point try with a wonderful try, collecting his own chip ahead he found Dean who linked with Hathaway and it the Welshman who was on hand to seize his brace in the corner. With Josh Stevens reading Stratford’s line out throws and stealing ball at will, it was from a perfect take that Pats excellent mauling saw loosehead prop Teddy Saunders drive over from five metres for an unconverted taking the game seemingly out of sight.
But the men from Warwickshire had different ideas, a defensive mix up between the Pats centres saw Jack Young stroll over untouched followed by an identical defensive error which allowed Stratford’s outside centre to dab down for a try converted by Jones. With the deficit reduced to twelve points, the visitors sensed victory and when their burly fly half saw a gap Stratford and made it seventeen unanswered points in fifteen minutes when Toby Jones touched down.
With ten minutes on the clock the homeside were forced to endure a nervy finish to a game they completely dominated. Sensible forwards control and defensive composure prevented any further scores and when Stratford misjudged the remaining time on the clock, their kick for touch saw the final whistle blown and Pats breathed a sigh of relief.
With an away fixture at third placed Wimborne next Saturday followed by the visit to Everest Road of second placed Banbury on the 21st October, Pats will be looking to be on top form to consolidate their league status.