Stroud came with a very strong team knowing that we had cost them promotion last season by unexpectedly beating them 6-5. When we went 1-0 down through one of many flowing Stroud moves the signs were ominous. However, we equalised at the right post with an Alex tap-in and held it at 1-1 until just before half-time, which was testament to the hard work of the team, the solidness of Duncan and the robustness of the goal-posts! To concede goals either side of half-time to go 3-1 down would have made most teams lie down but we hit back with our second from a Rob Williams’ short corner flick to give them something to think about. Only having one sub cost us as we began to tire and Stroud finished the job with three more high quality goals. I suspect Stroud will be taking one of the promotion spots this season so we shouldn’t be too disheartened but instead we should aspire to play at that level. One thing’s for sure – we will be stronger after Christmas for the rematch. Man of the Match for standing strong in defence despite a damaged finger was Colm.