This week the two Stratford championship men's teams Avon and Broadway once again took part in the Battle of Stratford.
While it was played in great spirit, from beginning to end it was clear neither team was giving up. The first half saw Broadway try to assert their dominance early with a well worked goal and a clinical finish from Brayden Sharpe.
Avon had other plans and scored two well worked unanswered goals, the second from a clinical penalty corner strike from club veteran Paul Williams. This had Avon ahead 2-1 at the break.
With Broadway pushing hard to score more goals, a great drive into the circle from Paul set up Matt McDonald for a brilliant first time touch to put the ball straight past the keeper. The ever improving Josh Trowbridge scored the final goal and his second in as many weeks pouncing on lose ball in front of the goal. Final score 6-3 to Broadway.
The Brian Darth Funeral Service Stratford Prem Men's team played New Plymouth Old Boys (NPOB) on Saturday. The team needed to step up their game this week just to compete against a strong side like Old Boys.
Stratford scored their first goal which was finished off by captain Scott Williams. Old Boys somehow scored a goal out of nothing to put them back in front. Stratford got another back through Ethan Lehmann. The score line did not reflect just how well the team played. Old boys managed to sneak another one in to make the final score 2-3 to Old Boys.
On Saturday, CMK Stratford Prem Women clashed against NPOB White. Stratford stepped things up a notch this week, bringing more passion and intensity to the field than they have all season.
The scoreboard got a workout in the first quarter. NPOB were the first to steal one, to which Stratford's Lara Williams quickly retaliated with a beautiful mid-net reverse. Stratford came back to attack again, Janelle Downs reacted quickly to a rebound off the keepers' pads.
The score still stood at 2-1 to Stratford late into the final quarter, with NPOB failing to make the most of Stratford being a man down due to a few green cards up until this point. NPOB were relentless, with their supporters egging them on until they eventually were awarded, and successfully converted a penalty corner to bring the final score to 2-2.
Lloyd Gernhoefer Contracting Stratford B Women played another great game against Apex in New Plymouth. Awesome passing and teamwork resulted in four goals to Stratford. Some great defence kept Apex scoreless. Player of Day went to Emily McDonald for always being where she needed to be and playing in new and unfamiliar positions.
Friday in Stratford: 8pm Stratford Prem Men v Hawera
Saturday in Stratford: 2pm Stratford B Women v Te Kiri, 3.30pm Stratford Avon Men v NPBHS 2nd XI.
Saturday in New Plymouth: 5.30pm Stratford Prem Women v Masters, 7pm Stratford Broadway Men v Northern Wolves.