STOURBRIDGE Rugby Club's social team, the Grasshoppers, took advantage of the gap weekend for the club's senior teams to secure a maiden victory on the new Stourton Park pitch.

They welcomed Aston Old Edwardians 2nds onto the club's new Rugby365 Artificial Grass Pitch in front of a larger than normal audience for this momentous occasion, including both the director of rugby and first team manager.

In the true spirit of grassroots rugby, Aston travelled with only 11 players so four of the Hoppers subs switched sides for the day.

The first half was a topsy turvy affair as both teams got to grips with the new pitch, but it was the Hoppers who settled into their stride with tries for centres Ryan Hadley and Richard Barratt taking advantage of some enterprising handling by the forwards plus winger Christopher Davies mazy 20 metre run and the depleted visitors must have feared a rout.

This burst from the home club galvanised the visitors who had pledged to play a no kicking Barbarians style game and were rewarded with tries for their bustling number 8 and their scrum half Stephen Fisher who was one of the loanee Stour players that really stepped up to the mark, leaving the half time score at a close 15-14 in favour of the Hoppers.

Sadly, Aston couldn’t maintain this momentum into the second half as the Hoppers fresher legs saw them run riot with two further tries for Ryan Hadley, another try for centre Barratt and further tries for full back Christopher Turnstile and young fly half Harry Bridgland, plus two Hadley conversions.

It was left to the battling Aston team to have the final say when scrum half Stephen Fisher plundered his second try with the last play of the game which saw the final score Grasshoppers 44, Aston 2’s 19 and a first victory for a Stourbridge senior team on the new pitch.

There were two man of the match awards with the first going to centre Richard Barratt for scoring two tries in his first ever game at centre, whilst the second award went to the four Stour lads who played for Aston, Stephen Fisher, John Slim, Stefan Oakley and Richard Gamble.