The start of the season and Strode’s played a gallant part in a closely fought battle in the first round of the NatWest Cup. Strode’s had a great start after soaking up initial pressure from Wimbledon College. A midfield field break, off the back of a ruck by Barnaby Hayward, led to an attack down the blindside and, off the ensuing breakdown, Tom McVey went over giving Strode's the initial lead. Tom McVey stepped up to convert his own try.
Wimbledon hit back instantly after a mistake in midfield, and then further increased their lead after another period of pressure. Strode’s replied with a long overdue penalty and then started to apply pressure onto Wimbledon, especially in midfield where the strong running and defensive capabilities of Sadiq Adebyi was having an impact. This period of pressure created another penalty opportunity 5 minutes before half time, however Strode’s chose to run the penalty when possibly taking the points would have seen us leading at half time. Unfortunately, to compound this, with only seconds of the half remaining, Wimbledon charged down a ball in midfield to run over a try unopposed.
The second half saw Wimbledon have more possession in the Strode’s half, but a strong forward surge from Strode’s saw them bring the scores level at 17 – 17. Again it was Tom McVey going over for the try and converting the points. The pressure from Wimbledon was beginning to tell as the game entered the last quarter when another charge down in midfield led to Wimbledon going over for another try. In the dying minutes Wimbledon made the victory secure when, after a series of penalties, the scored to seal the game.
Strode’s can be proud of their effort and, with a bit more belief and know how, should have emerged victors.