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Late breaking – what’s on this weekend

It’s good news! With temperatures over the last few days the weekend’s games were subject to pitch inspections this morning and following these inspections we have a green light!

Pitches – check
Players – check
Kitchen – check
Bar – check

go go go go go go go go…………

The 1XV are in action against Biggleswade in the next game on their league journey with a 2:15pm kickoff today. Our 2XV travel across to Leighton Buzzard for a 1:00pm kick off and will be returning to the club directly after the game.

On Sunday it’s a big day with the Mini section hosting Dunstable and Luton at home, games starting at 10:30am for age groups Micros, U7 thru to U12. With 240 players expected it’s a morning of rugby at your community club. The newly formed U13s travel away to Hitchin for their 4th game of the season.

On Sunday afternoon between 2:00pm and 3:30pm we have the Xmas party for the Mini and Youth section and the breaking news is that Santa’s Elves have just informed us that Santa will visit at some point between these times. With each player bringing a plate of either sweet or savoury snacks for the party buffet it will be a great way to wind down after a season and big morning of rugby.

If you are recovering from the senior section Xmas Panto party on the Saturday night come up on Sunday and watch the future of the club playing followed by a few drinks at the bar, you could even see Santa in the afternoon if you have been good!.

Bar Opening Times
Saturday : 1:00pm until late
Sunday : 12:00pm – 3:30pm

Kitchen Opening Times
Saturday : 12:30pm – 8:00pm
Sunday : 9:30am – 3:30pm

Ladies 26 – 12 Harringey

On a rather mild December afternoon Stockwood Ladies entertained Haringey in the latest instalment of the Ladies NC South (North 2) League
The last time we played we were put to the sword by an efficient team from Hackney and the visitors also come from this area with a squad of 19 so its all set for a tussle.

With a few absentees and a lot of the squad suffering from colds and flu it was great to see the numbers we had and the commitment to the cause.
We received at the start and went forward into contact and started a phase of 10 or so minutes where whilst having the upper hand we were trying too hard and making a few errors.
Our intensity and aggression were in the right place and we were certainly dominating possession without creating anything too clear cut.
We had a slight delay after 15 mins where Aimee had been trodden on and we changed it up a bit with Sophie going into Fly Half and Ellen coming on the wing .
We then settled a little and the continual go forward from Amy and Dara .. Daisy , Cath and Danni was providing plenty of possession we then put together a nice phase with the ball going through hands and Eleanor committed her defender and sent Ellen free and with nobody but the full back she showed a clean pair of heels to score under the posts .. her first and well deserved try of the season …
With Sophie taking responsibility for the conversions she was a bit unlucky going underneath the posts .. but better was to follow.
We continued to gain possession and this time went to the other wing where Cat showed another clean pair of heels cut inside to score her 3rd try of the season and with Sophie converting (which got the loudest cheer of the afternoon) we were 12-0 up and to be fair we were comfortable.
Haringey had rarely threatened but they came back at us and put together a good move with nice hands and got to within 5 mtrs of the line before they were stopped we had a bit of a scramble in defence and it looked like we had stopped her short of the line .. but the ref saw differently and awarded the try …
This was a pivotal part of the game .. how we would react would really see how far we have come and if I am honest it was the perfect response.

We continued to dominate possession and when Haringey did get the ball we were on them quickly … forcing errors and gifting up the ball … From a drive from Amy which gained 6 or 7 mtrs before she was slowed we found ourselves 5-6 mtrs from the line .. the forwards decided this was the time to all pile in and shove … and shove we did as Amy was forced over the line for her first try of the season.
Sophie continues with her new found converting technique to the delight of everybody. From the kick off we get a scrum .. we were dominant in this area all day … and sweep right to find Cat again who jinks her way to the line to score her second of the day and with Sophie completing a hatrick of conversions we end the half 26-5 up .

An almost complete half of Rugby in many ways … as we are a developing team with lots of new comers to the game we changed a few around to give everybody ago Lisa coming on at fullback , Chloe on the wing and Aimee returning to fly half .

We started as we finished the first half and looked to have scored when Katie had driven to the line after a sustained spell trying to get over … the Haringey girl was yellow carded after being warned several times for playing the ball on the floor .. the only quibble was the ball looked to be on the line ..which is a Try ..but we coughed up possession and Haringey got some relief .
The next 20 mins was a bit of an arm wrestle in the middle of the field and into the oppos half .. everybody working tirelessly .. Dara and Daisy making ground only to be thwarted by some stern defending. We had taken a few of the better players off to give them a rest and to continue experience with Claire Walsh making her debut.
The slight change gave Haringey an opportunity which they finished well and with the conversion being made the last 10 mins would prove interesting ..
We were clearly flagging a bit as the efforts of the day were taking their toll and the intensity dropped a bit .. Haringey sensed this and went for it .. the last 5 minutes was a constant attacking barrage on our line but we held firm and with Claire Walsh making try saving tackle and the rest of the team falling in behind there was no further score …. A great performance with a great result and a real desire to win shown which was truly awesome.

It is becoming hard to name a Woman of the Match as everybody is doing their bit which is so pleasing as it is a team game after all …
Special mention to Lisa ,Claire and Chloe for stepping up when needed and contributing .. Amy for a great game and Cat and Ellen for great wing play …
Dara got the forward of the match with some great driving runs setting the platform for things to follow, this is so important and Aimee the back of the match as she was right up for it all game

Finally Sophie apart from the first 5 minutes or so was pretty awesome and scored 3 out 4 kicks but her line speed was a joy to behold.

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2xv 7 – 29 Buckingham

The second team, were keen to have a fixture after last weeks fantastic win.
A few key players, failed to show but this did not deter the teams focus and still being able to take 25 players for an away fixture is very impressive! Stockwood RFC started well and was winning on the possession stats and camping within Buckingham’s half for about 25 minutes of the game. Competing well at the set pieces. Finally Stockwood RFC got their just desserts through Tim Franks Who continues to impress! Leandro with his 12 game at fly half, continues to learn and develop and made some decent decision making in the first half to kick for possession in the difficult wet conditions. Unfortunately Bucks pounced on an open pass to score under the posts and bring the game to 7-7 at half time.

With some key changes, at 8, Prop, second row and Wing. There was always going to be an element of unsettlement. However Stockwood worked hard and made the hard yards with George Peacock, Franks and Standring busting holes.
Buckingham was a well seasoned 2nd team and scored the their following tries apart from mauling scrum could only score out wide. Stockwood was able to field all their subs, including 6 Colts with Colt Cameron Heywood making his senior debut.

Despite the result it didn’t reflect on what was a fantastic game for the skill development of the youthful Park!

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Park capitulate in last quarter

Having fought hard to stay in the game in the first half, Park proceeded to concede forty points in the second half including thirty three in the last ten minutes as unbeaten league leaders, St Ives, demolished Park’s defence with some powerful, well supported and straight running. After last week’s impressive victory this was a disappointing reversal for Stockwood Park.

Once again Park allowed the home team to score from the kick off before left wing, Charlie Bennett, who worked hard throughout the game, went over in the corner to make the score 7-5 to St Ives. The home team then added further trys to take the score to 21-5 before loose head prop, Justin Harkin, added to his try scoring reputation as he was driven over by his fellow forwards for a try converted by James Hankey who had  replaced the injured Matt Jones. Further injuries to Tom Edmunds and Hooker Jake Lawson disrupted the Park. At halftime the score was 28-12 to the home team

In the second half, although Park competed well enough in the line out and scrums,   they could not handle St Ives in the open play and their defence continued to be breached, particularly in the last quarter of the match.

Next week Park travel to Leicester Vipers.

Colts pull one out the bag

The Colts had a nervous start against against Chesham this afternoon, with the kickoff going astray and the resulting scrum going the way of Chesham resulting in a penalty to Chesham. What followed was a very scrappy 7 minutes of play with Park giving up several penalties ultimately resulting in Chesham crossing for the 1st try of the game around the 8 minute mark. Unsurprising perhaps, given that this was the same side that trounced the Colts 5 weeks previously with a 71-12 result.

However, Park were having none of it and pulled together with every man on the field doing his job resulting in Chesham being starved of the ball and the few times they did get the ball being forced into making rushed decisions. With Park’s pack completely dominating in the scrum and retaining ball at almost every breakdown of play through multiple phases the pressure eventually paid off with Ryan Bull picking up off the back of the pack and getting past 3 defenders to touchdown for Park’s 1st of the day.

Chesham’s 10, our nemesis in the previous game, and the rest of their backs had a busy few minutes with Park’s forwards retaining possession through several phases and then trying to go wide. Chesham were fairly effective in disrupting Park’s back attack but with the pack in the mood for a contest up front possession was retained at each breakdown. Park continued to release wave after wave of attack with Louis Palmer eventually breaking around the outside and then coming back inside to beat several defenders to cross under the posts for Park’s next points.

With Park in the lead 12-5 at the change Chesham looked to the lineout and disrupted Park several times in this area, crossing once at the start of the half. Chesham were not consistent enough to create an issue for Park at the lineout and continued dominance in the scrum and at the breakdown from Park kept Chesham pegged back. It was Sam Tenny in the forwards that crossed for Park’s last of the day after some great phases of play from both the forwards and backs.

The huge effort put in by the pack perhaps started to tell around 8 minutes from the end with Chesham gaining the occasional upper hand in the breakdown. Chesham were quick to use this as a platform to launch several attacks at Park and tried to get around the outside getting into Park’s 25 on a few occasions. Park however maintained their composure and dug in to weather the attack with honours going to Park 19-10 at the close.

A very entertaining game that was a hard fought contest by both teams with impressive play by both backs and forwards from Park.

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U16s acquit themselves well against a strong opposition

Stockwood Park U16’s 17-34 Fullerians.

Match report by Robert Coupland

On a cold and windy Sunday morning the U16s acquitted themselves well against a strong opposition!!

Today’s visitors to the Park were Fullerians a strong team that had beaten us in the Harrow Tens at the end of last season, so we knew we were in for a tough match albeit a friendly.

It was a very cold morning and just like the weather Stockwood had a frosty start,immediately from kick off the Fullerian winger ran three quarters the length of the pitch evading several tackles and showing Stockwood a clean pair of heels once he was in full flight. In fact his speed covering in defence throughout the match was very evident running down some of our fastest players on the break.
The next ten minutes was a bit of an arm wrestle eventually won by Fullerians scoring in the corner by the aforementioned speedy winger. The conversion was missed and the score was 0:10 to the away team.

At this point I was impressed with the way the opposition were playing and feared the worst however the boys heads did not go down they played with real desire mainly defending tigerishly and through some great pressure applied by all 15 Stockwood boys in the opposition quarter Fullerians made an error and the individual opportunitism of Steven Missen who took the ball off the opposition from 5 metres out and went over for Stockwoods first try. His first real touch of the ball in attack although he had made some very important tackles in defence.

The rest of the half was played with passion,commitment and the boys really got into the face of the opposition. The half time score 5:10
The second half the lads came out knowing they were in with a good chance of turning the game around and winning. This was made more likely when Alin went over for Stockwoods second try after a great move which started deep in the Stockwood half. The ball travelling speadily down the back line to release Jordan F down the wing, who then passed to Reece in support in full flight who was tracked down by our nemesis the speedy Fullerian winger, but still managed to get the ball away to Alin who was in support.
I only mention a few names in the first two Stockwood tries but it was through a strong team effort and pressure the first came about and some hard forward grit, laying a platform for a well supported try from the backs that the second came about. We up until now had made a few unforced errors but were still looking very good. The score was now 10:10.

Over the next few minutes several replacements took place and due to the number of substitutions as opposed to any individuals it knocked Stockwood out of the groove they were in. Resulting in Fullerians scoring three unanswered tries converting two. The score now been 10:29
We then saw Reece burst through with one of his all to familiar explosive runs and was very well tackled 15 metres short of the try line but managed to pass a great ball off the floor to Anset who was in support and finished off the move scoring 10 metres in. At this point Kieran, Jordan F, Max, were all on the sidelines and Stockwood had no kicker to take the conversion. So William stepped up to take the conversion his very first, his dad could barely watch he was so anxious he even forgot to video. Well Will struck it like a pro and it sailed between the post for 2 points ( this was the icing on the cake for Will who I thought played really well and had his best game of the season ) the score now was 17:29 before the final whistle Fullerians scored again making the final score 17:34.

The boys can be very proud of themselves I know many came off the pitch disappointed at losing because they had worked very hard and had the desire,passion and ability-to win and for various reasons which we all have different theories about it didn’t happen.

There were lots of positives today great tackling some real strong runs,fabulous support play, some great clearing out at rooks they were a team full of desire and fight. On the negative side probably too many unforced errors and we really need to practice our penalties, Forwards taking the ball stood still unsupported into a ferocious oncoming defence was like sending lambs to the slaughter. A lot of players impressed me today with their commitment and skill and continued improvement.

1XV come up trumps!

On a perfect day for rugby and on an excellent playing surface at their London Road ground, Stockwood Park demolished their visitors, Rushden & Higham, with an 11 try feast of running rugby. Outplaying Rushden in most areas of the game, they led 38-14 at halftime and continued their team attacks in the second half to eventually run out winners by 69-14.

With regular scrum half Alex Lovell unavailable, ex Colts captain Frank Daly moved back to the number 9 shirt with Charlie Bennett taking over Daly’s position at Full Back . Both players had good games as Park went on the attack from the start. In Park’s forwards, the Back Row of Tom Edmunds, Will Varnalls and the excellent Aaron Beattie were always prominent with Beattie scoring 3 trys in an eyecatching performance.

First half trys were scored by Fly Half Matt Jones, Full Back Charlie Bennett after a sweeping team movement, acting Captain Tom Edmunds, Hooker Tom Childs, Aaron Beattie and Loose Head Prop Justin Harkin. In the second half Harkin and Bennett scored their second trys and Aaron Beattie added two more to give him his hatrick. A further try was added by replacement Wozza Foskett. Fly Half Matt Jones kicked a total of seven conversions as well as his try to give him nineteen points in the match

This Saturday Park travel to St Ives to take on the unbeaten League leaders in what will be a more testing fixture.

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Thriller in the Chiller

Stockwood Park under 13’s entertained top Hertfordshire outfit Harpenden at London Road on Sunday morning in a high-tempo encounter in cold and crisp conditions.

Harpenden opened the scoring with two quick tries in succession only for Park to come thundering back with a brace from Kyle to level the scores by half time.

In the second half, Harpenden’s more experienced backs came into the game and due to the superior work of the Stockwood Park pack at the scrums and breakdown, this gave them little option but to move the ball out wide at every opportunity. This tactic eventually paid off for the visitors who went over for two more tries to lead 20-10 halfway through the second half.

But Stockwood Park were not prepared to buckle, and with the power running from the two juggernauts of George and Josh backed up by Kyle and Raheem, Park pulled another try back. However, In the final 5 minutes Harpenden ran in 2 more tries to make the final score 30-15.

After the game coaches Steve Hudson and Mick Ballinger both agreed that the score line did flatter Harpenden as for three quarters of the game It was a close fought contest with the visitors having a bit more in the tank at the end to get two late tries.

Mick added, “We will be a far more formidable team when everyone gets match fit and we have some more players. We are still looking for another 10 or 11 players to get this squad up to a good size, so if any year 8 players wish to join us, simply come along at 7 pm on a Thursday night or 10 am on a Sunday morning to train. We need a bigger squad as we have 4 or 5 games lined up in the next few months.”

A special Xmas stocking filler

Heres your chance to fill that small gap in an Xmas stocking somewhere with the recently publish book detailing the history of Stockwood Park RFC, from inception in 1946 through the years, name and club house location changes, up to the present time. A 172 pages filled with pictures and stories bring the club history to life.

The book can be ordered from Nick Powley or the bar for £17.50. There is a small postage fee (Uk Mainland Only) of £3.50 if you cannot collect the book from the bar.

Last kit orders before Xmas

Last chance to order that stocking filler with Akuma kit.

The last date for orders before Xmas is Saturday, 25th November. Get in quick and place your order via the club website to ensure you don’t miss out.

Note : You must also have completed payment by the 25th November otherwise your order will not be placed with Akuma.