McDonald Stratford Men's division one team had their first real challenge on the weekend and came up short when they took on Hutchins Dick Peringa Pirates.

Stratford took control early in the game and put away two good goals before Peringa were able to settle themselves down and get into the game.

But once they did they were highly effective, catching Stratford's score. From then on it was a game of wits with both sides showing skill with the ball and pressuring both defences.

Each time Peringa gained the upper hand Stratford came back to close the gap but it wasn't enough and Peringa took the game six to five.

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The division two McDonald Stratford men had a hard job coming up against experienced Taranaki Thru Tubing New Plymouth Rangers team.

Stratford was able to hold them back for awhile, but the Rangers' experience and ability with the ball shone through.

Stratford had some good moments on the ball up front but lacked the finish to capitalise on them, and came off the pitch at full time with a 0:5 loss.

In the Women's league Tungsten legal Stratford started strongly against New Plymouth Rangers.

They looked to be on course to secure the early goals but were let down on the last touch and failed to put the ball into the net.

While the team did an admirable job holding the Rangers back, the speed of the Rangers' attacking line finally broke the impasse and goals started to come their way.

With no substitutes, fatigue was becoming a factor for Stratford. Rangers took complete control winning the game 7:0

■ Saturday May 4: McDonald Stratford Men's division one vs Charrua Kaponga 12:45pm at Victoria Park, Kaponga. McDonalds Stratford Men's division two vs 4U Computer Solutions Hawera, 2:45pm, Turuturu park, Hāwera.
Sunday May 5: Tungsten Legal Stratford Women's vs Perringa United, 10:30am Perringa Park, New Plymouth.