Category: 1XV Match Report

Biggleswade v Stockwood Park

Stockwood Park defeated Biggleswade 13 – 5 in their final league match of the season to finish 5th in the league in a frustrating season which has seen outstanding home victories over both Clubs, Leicester Forest and Northampton Casuals, who have been promoted followed by unconvincing performances against sides nearer the bottom. The main problem for Coach Tom Edmunds and Skipper Tom Childs has been inconsistent player availability but both Edmunds and Childs will take great encouragement from the arrival at 1st xv level of some promising youngsters from the Club’s youth system and also from the steady progress of the team over the winter.  They will be looking forward to building on this progress for next season.

At Biggleswade, Park struggled to shake off a determined home team who were intent on finishing their season on a high despite their impending relegation.  Biggleswade used the elements well in the first half to keep Park on the defence.  Park were not helped by some shaky game management and eventually the home team scored a well taken try to take a 5-0 lead at halftime.  In the second half, with a good supply of lineout ball from Locks Will Varnals and 18 year old Connor Underwood, well supported by Michael Powell, Park came more into the game and soon went ahead with a try from No 8 Ben Griffin converted by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey.   Lewsey added two penalties with well struck kicks and Park eventually came out as winners by 13 – 5 despite a rather unconvincing performance.

At the end of the game Park applauded their long serving Centre, James Hankey, from the pitch following Hankey’s decision to retire from 1st xv rugby. Hankey has been a loyal and consistent part of the Park 1st xv for many seasons and has made a very valuable contribution to the Club in that time.

Leicester Forest 55 Stockwood Park 0

Although Stockwood Park played with great spirit and worked hard until the end, they were eventually beaten comfortably by promotion chasing Leicester Forest who had too much power in their runners and whose support play gradually wore down Park’s defence to create a number of scoring chances.  Park’s midfield tackled valiantly with Centres Jason Mitchell and Steve Pollock prominent and they were well supported by the Park back row of Michael Powell. Ben Griffin and Jack Brooks.  Skipper Tom Childs led from the front but the home side, unbeaten this season on their 3G artificial pitch, played with confidence and skill to take the spoils. For Park’s debutant Full Back, Matt Henwood, it was not a good day as he had to leave the field in the first half with a serious knee injury.

Forest scored four tries in each half and led 29-0 at halftime.  Although Park spent much of the game defending, they did create some good potential scoring opportunities when they ventured into the home team’s half but were generally too hasty with their decision making and as a result lost their position.

Forest added four more tries in the second half and ran out worthy winners 55-0.

Park will conclude this season’s league programme with a visit to Biggleswade RFC next Saturday.

Park’s 2nd xv won their match at Olney.

Stockwood Park 21 Stamford 39

Although Stockwood Park worked hard and scored some good tries, they were eventually well beaten by promotion hunting Stamford who had too much power in the backs and eventually broke down Park’s defence despite a heroic tackling performance from Full back Frank Daly who was clearly Park’s man of the match.

On a warm and dry afternoon Stamford were soon on the attack and after twenty minutes had taken a 12-0 lead with two tries before a sustained attack from Park saw Skipper Tom Childs driven over for a try with Fly Half Brandon Lewsey adding the extras. Almost immediately the visitors responded with another try of their own to take a 22-7 lead into halftime.

Stamford continued the second half with strong running from their backs and despite Frank Daly’s hard work in defence the visitors increased their lead to 32-7 with two more tries, before Park, who never gave up, were rewarded with a well taken try by Centre Steve Pollock converted by Lewsey to make the score 32-14 to the visitors. Stamford responded with a further try to lead by 39-14 before quick thinking from Park’s Scrum Half Alex Lovell, who went over from a quickly taken penalty, converted by Brandon Lewsey to make the final score 39-21 to Stamford.

Despite the league defeat, Park fielded three teams at home and were well supported by a large crowd from their Match Sponsors.

Next Saturday Park travel to Leicester Forest

Oh When The Park!

Stockwood Park were eventually deserving winners of this very entertaining and competitive League Fixture with local rivals Dunstablians. Both teams contributed to the entertainment, both teams scored some good tries and both teams did not help themselves at times with their error count. However, it was Park’s forwards who eventually finished on top with some strong running and some solid defence with Flankers Jack Brooks and Michael Powell prominent They were led from the front by Hooker and Skipper Tom Childs who was in the thick of the action and had an excellent game.

Behind the forwards, Scrum Half Alex Lovell was busy, involved and always an attacking threat.

Park took a 5-0 lead after 5 minutes when Lovell kicked cleverly into space for left wing Kyran Ryan to collect and score. Dunstablians then kicked a penalty and a further exchange of penalties took the score to 8-6 with Fly Half Brandon Lewsey successful for Park.  Dunstablians then took a 13-8 lead with an excellent converted try before further penalties from both teams took the score to 16-11 to Dunstablians.  Just before halftime a period of forward pressure from Park saw No 8 Ben Griffin force his way over for Lewsey to add the extras and give Park an 18-16 lead at halftime.

Early in the 2nd half Dunstablians went back into the lead 21-18 with another good try before Park, after another period of pressure from their forwards scored again through veteran Centre James Hankey with good support work from Lovell. Lewsey added the extras and a further penalty to give Park a 28 – 21 lead. Dunstablians then came back and scored an unconverted try of their own to take the score to 28-26 to Park before a brilliant short pass from Hankey put loose head Prop Justin Harkin, who had a fine all-round game, under the posts for what proved to be the winning score and a try scoring bonus point. Lewsey added the extras. Dunstablians kicked a late penalty to take a losing bonus point.  Final score 35-29 to Stockwood Park.

Park have their final home league game next Saturday against promotion contenders Stamford RFC. KO 3pm.



Stockwood Park 27 St Neots 29

What a difference a week makes.  Park went from a tremendous victory at Daventry the previous Saturday with a display of solid defence and a last-minute score to deservedly win the match to a very disappointing defeat to a determined St Neots who themselves secured victory with a last-minute score after Park had led for virtually the whole game.

Park playing with the elements in the first half never quite built a sufficient enough lead by halftime. They raced 5-0 ahead with another try from the improving right wing, Will Standring, before the visitors scored a converted try themselves to go 7-5 in front. Fly half Brandon Lewsey then restored Park’s lead to 8-7 with a penalty before Centre Steve Pollock, who worked hard throughout the game, finished a fine team effort to score a try with Lewsey adding the extras. This made the score 15-7 before No 8 Ben Griffin drove over on the stroke of halftime for a try which Lewsey converted to give Park a 22-7 lead at the break.

Playing into the wind in the second half, Park’s lineout struggled with the windy conditions and the visitors made good use of ball which they turned over. St Neots scored a converted try to bring the score to 22-14 before Brandon Lewsey went over from close range to secure what should have been a match winning lead of 27-14. However, the visitors were not finished, they scored a further converted try, added a Penalty, before dashing Park’s hopes of victory with a try on the final whistle to make the final score 27-29. Park took two bonus points from the game.

Park now travel to local rivals Dunstablians RFC for the next league fixture on Saturday March 23rd

Daventry 23 Stockwood Park 25

Trailing by a point in injury time, a superb 35 metre penalty by Brandon Lewsey with the last kick of the game sealed a bonus point away win for Stockwood Park.  A hugely entertaining game that saw the lead changing hands nine times was deservedly settled in Park’s favour by Lewsey’s long-range effort.  The hosts started strongly with their powerful forwards leading the charge but dogged Park defence led by skipper Tom Childs, with Michael Powell and Jack Brooks also prominent, kept Daventry at bay and limited them to a single penalty in the first quarter.  Park increasingly worked their way back into the game with half backs Frank Daly and Lewsey setting their dangerous backs free and a scintillating break from Steve Pollock created the space for the first try.  Pollock found prop Trevor Fowler in support whose slick hands released the speedy Kyran Ryan to run in the try.  A second penalty saw the hosts regain the lead 6-5 before the Park backline again cut loose with Will Standring scoring on the other wing. Despite this Park turned round behind 13-10 at the interval when the hosts scored a converted try in the last minute of the half.

A second try from Ryan when he outpaced the defence when following up a Lewsey kick from 40 metres out regained the lead before Daventry scored one of their own to edge ahead.  In the final quarter a side-stepping run from Lewsey, who powered over with 3 defenders on his back and added the extra points himself, put Park ahead and it stayed that way until the final minute of normal time when the hosts snatched a try to lead 23-22.  Park were not to be denied however and a powerful forward drive in added time was stopped illegally and up stepped Lewsey to apply the coup de grace.

A delighted coach Tom Edmunds declared it “An impressive performance.  Our defence was outstanding, and we showed the spirit, skill and finishing power to overcome a strong and useful Daventry side”.

Park entertain St Neots at London Road next Saturday ko 3pm.  A large crowd is expected with the annual Vice Presidents lunch before the game.

Stockwood Park v Rushden & Higham

Stockwood Park served up seven sparkling tries, in an emphatic win over Rushden and Higham at London Road.  Rushden took an early lead following up a kick ahead in the first attack of the game but thereafter gained the initiative and started to dominate possession and territory with Jack Brooks, Will Varnals and Dominic Barnes to the fore. They took the lead in the 8th minute when No 8 Ben Griffin drove over from short range, Brandon Lewsey converting, and improved that with two more tries.  Frank Daly and Will Standring both benefited from breaks by Harry Bishop and Kyran Ryan and fine support play from the forwards, to finish off flowing moves in the corner and extend the lead to 21-8 at the interval.

After the break, they stretched their lead further through tries from the rumbustious Will Bennett and veteran James Hankey.  The visitors fought back gamely with two tries of their own, but Park finished with a flourish, a fine individual effort by scrum half Alex Lovell and an opportunist effort from Jack Wharton.  Lewsey completed the scoring with his 7th conversion to finish with a 100 per cent record in a fine 49-23 victory.  Skipper Tom Childs declared himself happy with the victory, commenting ‘it was important to bounce back after the defeat last week brought our winning run to an end.  As long as we continue to work hard in training we will continue to grow and finish the season strongly’.

Park’s next league encounter is away to Daventry on March 2nd.

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