NOEL Speed praised his squad despite Whitchurch crashing to a 31-10 at home to Stoke in Midlands League One West.

Coach Speed was without a host of players and handed senior starts to five youngsters who each seized their chance to shine against the promotion chasers.

The match remained without a score until the stroke of half-time when the hosts finally broke the deadlock.

Stoke went further ahead through a chip over to score an unconverted try after the break while Whitchurch were left frustrated with two tries being ruled out by the officials.

Stoke capitalised with three further tries before the Reds stirred with Jake Rees releasing Jack Furnival to storm through for an unconverted try.

The hosts continued to surge forward and it was no surprise when Dane Tinsley added a second try but the Potteries side had already done enough to seal glory at Edgley Park.

Speed said: “I am so proud of those five young players who stepped up a level today. Selection for next week’s game away at Stratford on Avon will be a sweet headache.”

Meanwhile the club’s second string thrashed Winnington Park IIs 56-0 in NOWIRUL The Right Broker Division Three South

Elsewhere the colts were held to a 17-17 draw at home to Crew and Nantwich Colts after clawing back an early 12 point deficit to claim a share of the spoils.

Colts manager Marcus Challoner said “It was a great game and advertisement for the sport.”