Wootton Bassett's winning run comes to an abrupt end
5:30am Wednesday 29th January 2014 in By Tom Bassam, Chief sports writer
ROYAL Wootton Bassett’s recent winning streak came to end at Stow-on-the-Wold as they lost 31-15.
Bassett came in to the Southern Counties North league match off the back of three wins but were unable to recover from a disastrous first half where they conceded 31 with only a Liam Spillane penalty in reply.
Bassett coach Alan Low told the Advertiser: “We had five key players missing but despite that the performance disappointed me, it was a bit of a missed opportunity.
“The guys were as disappointed as I was, they realised that they hadn’t got quite got the execution right.”
Low’s side got off to an unlucky start as their captain’s curse struck again when their leader Phil Bardwell had to go off injured after six minutes. The hooker initally thought he had broken his ankle but after a scan it appears to be ligament damage.
Stow, backed by a strong following wind, played a good off-loading game in as they racked up all their points in the first half.
Low was frustrated in the opening 40 minutes as he saw his side make it into the opposition 22 on a few occasions only to cough up the ball. However he was reflective at the break as he believed the “mental” weather conditions were worth 25 points.
“We were a bit shell shocked in the first half and they were always going to come hard at with the conditions behind them,” Low added.
Bassett were much improved in after the break as Stow adapted to the conditions by adopting a conservative approach.
Will Hooper got one try back for Bassett and then finished from a line-out catch and drive.
Relcutantly dipping into the bag of sporting clichés Low described the game as one of two halfs.
“It’s a phrase I hate using but in this case it is very accurate.”