Category: 1XV Match Report

Bourne v Stockwood Park

Stockwood Park’s unbeaten recent run came to a sudden end on Saturday against Bourne when a very uninspiring first half performance gave Park a mountain to climb in the second half which, although they improved, was too much to achieve.

Playing with the elements and fielding a much changed team, Park’s early disorganisation and frail defence was quickly exploited by Bourne who ran in three converted tries by halftime.   Park were 21-0 down at the break and turned around to play into the strong wind.

Park now started to perform and first of all Lock Jack Wharton, Park’s best player on the day, crashed over unopposed from a lineout and then number 8 Ben Griffin put left wing Kyran Ryan clear for Ryan to score wide out. Unfortunately, it was not to last and Bourne added two more tries in quick succession before Ben Griffin forced his way over for a try converted by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey.  Bourne then added another late try to give them a deserved victory by 38-17.

Park play Rushden & Higham RFC at home next Saturday KO 2.15pm

Stockwood Park v Bedford Queens

Stockwood Park extended their unbeaten run to 4 games with a hard earned but eventually conclusive victory by 32 – 10 against Bedford Queens. Queens are a strong physical side and in their league fixture with them in October, Parks defence proved porous but there is a resilience to it now and on Saturday their defence stood firm under pressure with their back row of Michael Powell. Ben Griffin and Jack Brooks at the heart of it. Park’s Skipper, Hooker Tom Childs once again led by example.

Queens kicked an early penalty to take a 3-0 lead before a very skilful diagonal cross kick by Fly Half, Brandon Lewsey, was picked up on the bounce by right wing, Dan Needham, who crossed wide out to score. Lewsey continued to direct operations skilfully throughout the game.  Queens then scored a try of their own which they converted to take a 10-5 lead.

Park now took control of the scoring and first left-wing Kyran Ryan sped in after some good handling in the backs before No 8 Ben Griffin, a threat to the visitors throughout, crashed over for a try with Centre, Steve Pollock, adding the extras to give Park a 17-10 lead at halftime.

In the second half and with the elements in their favour, Park gradually stretched their lead with a further try from Ben Griffin, who was also stopped twice on the visitors try line, before a fine individual try by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey, pushing off several attempted tackles as he went over for his score.  Pollock converted both.  Pollock completed the scoring with a late penalty to give Park a 32-10 victory.

Park travel next Saturday to Bourne RFC as they attempt to continue their good current form.

Stockwood Park v Birstall

Stockwood Park followed up on their excellent victories over league front runners Northampton Casuals and Leicester Forest in their previous two league fixtures with an important bonus point victory away at mid table Birstall.

This was not the impressive performance of the two previous games, but it was a hard-earned victory against resilient opposition where Park, despite some frail defence in the first half stuck gamely to their task and eventually ran out as worthy winners. Outstanding for Park were their two lock forwards, Will Varnalls and Jack Wharton, who as well as winning some quality lineout ball also contributed to the forward effort with some strong running, particularly from man of the match Jack Wharton who also scored a try.  Behind the forwards, scrum half Alex Lovell mixed his options well and kept the side going forward.

Park were soon 7-0 behind as they made a slow start after a long coach journey.  However, some good forward interplay saw Full Back, Frank Daly, lively throughout, dive over to score with Fly Half Brandon Lewsey adding the extras.  Further pressure from the home side saw them take a 14-7 lead before Brandon Lewsey scored a try following considerable Park forward pressure.

Turning round 12-14 down and with the elements in their favour Park now took hold of the game and although Birstall worked hard until the end, Park scored further tries through Prop Dom Barnes and lock Jack Wharton, both after forward pressure. Lewsey converted one to take the score to 24-14 in Park’s favour before left wing, Kieron Ryan, took an interception and sped in from the halfway line. Lewsey added the extras to take his personal points contribution to 11 and the final score to 31 – 14.

Park’s next league fixture is at home to Bedford Queens RFC on Saturday January 26th 2.15pm

Stockwood Park v Northampton Casuals

Stockwood Park started 2019 in the same way that they finished 2018, with a storming victory over one of the promotion hopefuls, on this occasion Northampton Casuals, who arrived unbeaten at London Road with 11 wins out of 11 and with a 10 point advantage at the top of the league.

In their present form reputations have come to mean little for Park who played with intensity and commitment and more than matched their opponents in nearly all aspects of the game. The key to their success was that most important foundation in any success, their defence. What looked flaky in October / November has been stiffened by the return to form and fitness of Flanker Michael Powell, outstanding throughout and rightly judged the man of the match.

A mistake from the kick off put Park under immediate pressure and they were soon defending their line. However, five minutes of pressure from the visitors was firmly held by the Park defence with their “pocket dynamo“ Full back, Frank Daly,  making a crucial try saving tackle to eventually relieve the pressure.  Daly tackled bravely throughout as all Park defenders rose to the challenge.

With Park now forcing their way into the visitors half, despite losing No 8 Ben Griffin with further injury problems, it was loose head prop, Justin Harkin, prominent throughout, who opened the scoring with a strong run to the line. Casuals came straight back with a try of their own before flanker Jack Brooks, with another powerful performance on the back row, burst onto a pass following some excellent team interplay to score a try which Centre Steve Pollock adding the extras.  Park led 12-5 at halftime.

Casuals started the second half powerfully, but a combination of handling errors and powerful Park defence kept the visitors at bay before Park moved to a 19-10 lead when Flankers Brooks and Powell latched onto a visitors handling error for Michael Powell to drive over for the score. Steve Pollock converted the try with an excellent kick. Casuals now attacked again but Park held firm. The visitors kicked a penalty on the final whistle to secure a losing bonus point but this was Park’s day and they were able to celebrate a fine team performance and an excellent victory in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Next week Park travel to Birstall RFC near Leicester.

Stockwood Park 22 Leicester Forest 5

In near zero temperatures and driving rain for most of the game, Stockwood Park produced their most complete performance of the season to comprehensively defeat high flying Leicester Forest by 22 points to 5, scoring four tries in the process and securing themselves a valuable bonus point.

Park won the match because their no-nonsense game plan set out by their Coaching team, led by head Coach Tom Edmunds, entirely suited the artic conditions and with an outstanding team performance, particularly by their forward pack, and led from the front by their skipper and hooker Tom Childs, they executed the plan with great skill and total commitment.  Childs deservedly was named man of the match.  Park’s forwards were relentless, none more so than the back row of Michael Powell, Jack Brooks and number 8 Ben Griffin. Behind the forwards Park’s half backs, Alex Lovell and Brandon Lewsey kicked with intelligence and risked nothing in the difficult conditions.

Park got off to a perfect start when after five minutes, a short break down the blind side by Powell released Park’s speedy left-wing Kieron Ryan. Ryan rounded both his opposite number and the visitors full back to score a fine try. Park now grew in confidence, maintaining pressure on the visitors and maximising on their errors, fly half Brandon Lewsey sold a neat dummy to go over for a try which he converted.  Forest then scored a good try of their own before, on the stroke of halftime, Park’s No 8 Ben Griffin, a constant threat to the visitors, crashed over for a try which gave Park a 17-5 lead at the break.

With playing conditions worsening Park started the second half as they had finished the first. Some relentless pressure on the visitors’ defence saw Lewsey complete a fine team move to score his own second try and give Park a 22-5 lead which they did not relinquish.

Park now have a two week break before they entertain the unbeaten league leaders Northampton Casuals at home on January 5th.

St Neots 1XV v Stockwood Park 1XV

On a bright and crisp afternoon for rugby, Stockwood Park raced into a 12-0 lead in the first quarter at St Neots following a brilliant try in the first few minutes from league debutant, right wing Dan Corsey and an equally impressive team try scored by No 8 Ben Griffin in support of a good run from left wing Keiron Ryan. Brandon Lewsey added the extras.   However, Park then succumbed to a constant barrage of strong running and support play from the home side whose overall performance belied their league position.

Although Park still lead by a slender 12-10 at halftime and continued to attack in the second half, St Neots defended powerfully and unfortunately Park’s defence proved more fragile as the home team mounted some strong attacks which produced them four further tries in the second half as they ran out comfortable winners.

Park now have two weeks to prepare for their next league fixture which is a home clash with local rivals Dunstablians RFC.

Stockwood Park v Bourne

On a glorious autumn afternoon and in front of a gathering of over 100 former players, including 15 1st team captains, Park secured an important league victory to put them back on their winning ways and give fresh impetus to their league campaign.  This game was not a classic and was error ridden by both sides, however Park withstood the pressure from the visitors and eventually ran out the worthy winners.

With former skipper Steve Pollock moving to scrum half to counter injuries to Frank Daly and Alex Lovell, Park took an early lead when right wing Aron Colbert scored a try after some good handling. Centre Brandon Lewsey added the extras. Lewsey then added a penalty before the visitors responded with a converted try of their own to leave Park with a 10-7 lead at halftime.

In the second half, No8 Ben Griffin, returning from injury scored a try for Park after a powerful run. Lewsey again added the conversion before both sides added penalties to take the score to 20-10. With Park taking more control in the last quarter, right wing Aron Colbert scored his second try and secured a 25-10 victory for the home team.

Next Saturday Park travel to Rushden and Higham RFC for their next league fixture

Bedford Queens v Stockwood Park

Stockwood Park RFC will not recall with affection their first league game on a Rugby Football Union 4G artificial pitch. Saturday’s opponents, Bedford Queens RFC, who share their playing facility with Bedford Athletic RFC, had use of the 4G pitch for their home league fixture with Park. Unfortunately, Park were defeated in the match and came away with two serious injuries for their troubles. Flanker Michael Powell with ankle ligament damage and Centre Jason Mitchell with a damaged Hamstring.

Park started well. Brandon Lewsey playing Fly Half in the absence of the unavailable James Hankey, kept Park on the attack with some accurate kicking to keep the Queens defence under pressure but on a break out from their own half Queens kicked a penalty and soon followed up with a converted try from a powerful rolling maul which gave them a 10-0 lead. As halftime approached Queens scored another try before Park bounced back and Brandon Lewsey scored a good try to make the score 15 – 5 to Queens at the break.

Any hope for a recovery in the second half faded as Queens extended their lead to 23 – 5 with a try and penalty before Brandon Lewsey, Park’s man of the match, again drove himself over for a try, converted by Matt Jones to take the score to 23 – 12 to Queens.  Queens added a further penalty to complete a 26-12 victory.

This Saturday Park return to Cup action when they entertain Shipston on Stour in the 2nd round of the RFU National Vase.

Park’s 2nd xv continued their strong start to the season with a close 12-11 league victory over Ampthill.

Cup Win For The Park In Local Derby

Stockwood Park and Dunstablians used the first available non-league Saturday of the season to play their first-round tie of this season’s Bedfordshire Cup.

After a close, competitive but error ridden game, primarily due to the arrival of rain, Park emerged as 17-11 winners from this local derby in which Dunstablians established scrum dominance, particularly in the first half but Park controlled the lineout and gradually took control of the game through the second half. Park were well served by their powerful number 8 Ben Griffin and by man of the match, scrum half Frank Daly, who was at the heart of Park’s excellent defence.

In this rain affected match Dunstablians scrummage platform and pressure soon secured a 3-0 lead but with Park withstanding further pressure their centre Brandon Lewsey intercepted a loose pass close to his own 22 metre line and ran the length of the pitch to score a try giving Park a 5-3 lead which they held until halftime.

In the second half Park came more and more into the game and with 20 minutes to go increased their lead to 12-3 after some good forward pressure saw Brandon Lewsey drive over for his second try which he also converted. Dunstablians added a further penalty to take the score to 12-6 before Park secured the crucial score when a sharp pass from Fly half, James Hankey, prominent throughout, put replacement left wing James Pedder over for a try wide out.

With a few minutes to go Dunstablians pulled a try back following a fine run by their right wing to set up a tense and exciting end to this Cup Match with Park finally securing a 17-11 victory.

This Saturday Park revert to league action when they play Birstall RFC at home.

So Close!

Stockwood Park’s second league match of the season was a tremendous game of exciting rugby played with total commitment on both sides and well refereed.  Casuals, who finished one point off promotion last season finally took the honours on their own ground by 22-21, but not before Park, led from the front by Skipper and Hooker Tom Childs, had competed with great spirit and skill to nearly secure the victory themselves.

Casuals started with intent and were soon 7-0 up slicing through Park’s defence after collecting a loose ball in midfield and then adding to this with a penalty to take the score to 10-0 after 30 minutes. With both sides seeking to attack Park were soon on the scoreboard themselves when, following forward pressure, Centre Brandon Lewsey scored a try which he also converted, and which was soon followed by another try, this time from left wing Kyran Ryan who outpaced the home defence to score near the posts. Lewsey added the extras to give Park a 14-10 lead at halftime.

Unfortunately, a yellow card for a “professional” foul robbed Park of Brandon Lewsey for ten minutes at the start of the second half, with Casuals taking advantage to score again and take the lead at 15-14.  Park continued to attack and their quality lineout possession, where locks Phil Doherty, Jack Wharton and back row Michael Powell and Will Varnals excelled was crucial. From such a lineout on the Casuals 22 metre line Park produced a powerful drive which was stopped illegally on the home team’s try line and which resulted in a penalty try to give Park a 21-15 lead.

With eight minutes to go pressure from Casuals resulted in their winning converted try to leave them as 22-21 victors. Park took much credit for their performance including a losing bonus point.

Park’s 2nd xv made it three wins out of three with a 34-22 victory over Albanians 3rd xv and Park’s 3rd xv defeated a Hitchin xv by 27-7.