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Coronavirus – Club Statement

Following on from government advice and directives on Monday 16th March, the RFU has suspended all rugby activity until the end of the season subject to review.  This suspension includes playing, training and all group activities. As a club we take our responsibility to safeguard staff and members very seriously and will be implementing the RFU Directive in full.  As a result, the clubhouse will be closed until further notice.  It is very likely that this suspension will be extended and we have therefore taken the decision to cancel all functions including club dinners subject to review and governmental advice.  People who have booked external functions will be contacted directly in the next few days.  Clearly the closure will have a significant impact, not least financial where subscriptions and donations will be our only income during the closure, and the Executive Committee are already working hard to mitigate the impact of a prolonged closure so that we are in the best possible position to move forward.

We are in unprecedented times as a club and indeed as a country.  These decisions have not been taken lightly and we hope that you will continue to support the club. We will keep you informed so that when the situation improves, we are able to resume all our normal activities and our members will be ready to respond.  Our club has a strong spirit and culture and this will hold us in good stead for the challenges ahead.

We will be issuing updates as and when it is appropriate and in the mean time if you have any questions please feel free to contact either of us.

Please keep fit and safe and we look forward to seeing you in better times.

Mark Lovell (President)

Tony Harman (Chairman)

St Neots 1XV v Stockwood Park 1XV

Against what appeared to be a rejuvenated St Neots team Stockwood triumphed 32 to 39.

Park started in a lively fashion attacking hard from the kick-off and were rewarded with a well worked try scored by Jack Wharton converted by Sean Martyn. St Neots immediately responded with a drive into the Stockwood 22 and scored a try very close to the post which was converted to make the score 7 all.

Again, the park applied pressure straight from the restart and at the 15 minute point a try out wide scored by Kieran Ryan was the reward, conversion missed. In the twentieth minute a St Neots centre received a yellow card for a high tackle allowing Park to apply even more pressure in the midfield which enabled Alfie Daly to score a try, no conversion 7 – 17. It was now time for St Neots to attack all out and they were rewarded with two penalties for offside by Park, both were kicked to make the score 13 – 17 at half time.

After only 2 minutes of the second half and due to some poor attempts at tackling by Park the home side scored a try wide out which was converted, 20 – 17. Just 5 minutes later Park, having injected some pace into their game, made some space which allowed Kieran Ryan to score a try in the corner. No conversion 20 – 22.

Almost straight from the kick-off Rob Jack received the ball in his own 22 area and then proceeded to weave his way through the whole St Neots team to score in the corner, no conversion, 20 – 27. Park then repelled a series of attacks made by the home side until able to make a serious attack themselves and following a series of close quarter forward drives Ben Griffin drove over for a try 20 – 32.

St Neots then responded with a well worked try which was not converted, 25 – 32. Another Park attack after 31 minutes of the second half resulted in a Jack Brooks try close to the posts, this was converted By Scrum Half Frankie Daly to ensure he was on the score sheet along with his brother. Park now led 25 – 37.

Still playing all out St Neots pushed hard for a score and were rewarded with a try which was converted making the final score 32 – 37. A well-earned win for the Park side.

Stockwood now have a one-week break before returning to league action.

Stockwood Park Colts vs Milton Keynes Colts

It was good to get back to playing a game today it seems an age since we last played. It was a cold but sunny day and the pitch to the most part was not waterlogged, just the sides and behind the posts!

Our opponents today were Milton Keynes who turned up with 13 players, so the game was played without flankers. Stockwood appeared a little rusty to begin with and the first few phases were plagued with handling errors. Once the boys had woken up they started to press the Milton Keynes line and after as sustained period of pressure Stockwood formed a ruck on the 5 metre line from which Dan Spain broke away to run in his first try of the season in the left hand corner, Kieran was really unlucky with the attempted conversion as the wind held it up and it fell agonisingly short of the posts.

Stockwood Park continued to press and whereas the forwards made the first try it was turn of the backs and our very own speedster, Paulius who received the ball on the wing and showed a clean pair of heels to Milton Keynes defence to score the first of his three tries under the posts, a score that was successfully converted by Kieran, who was to have a great kicking game.

Stockwood continued to dominate and a powerful run from Mark, who was finally brought down by about five Milton Keynes players, which resulted in a Stockwood scrum on the halfway line. After a lovely dummy pass from Max to Jordan, Milton Keynes totally wrong footed and Jordan proved to strong and broke several tackles before scoring underneath the posts, a try that once again was successfully converted by Kieran to give Stockwood a 19 to nil lead.

This score seemed to bring a response from Milton Keynes who used the power of their forwards to bully their way over Stockwood’s try line, making the first half score 19 points to 5 in favour of Stockwood.

Stockwood started the second half in the same vain to how they played the first and once again a quick ball out of the scrum and a succession of passes culminated in Jordan receiving the ball on the left. Once again, he proved too strong for Milton Keynes defence and he cut back in to score between the posts and Kieran scored a third conversion.

Neither side was able to take control over the next few phases, that was until a moment of brilliance by Kieran as he kicked a ball high into the air. Both Paulius and Jordan chased the ball and the Milton Keynes full back knocked the ball forward whilst under extreme pressure. From the resulting scrum Dan L, playing as No.8, picked the ball up and ran straight through the Milton Keynes back line to score and Kieran converted to make the score 33 points to 5. Not to be outdone by the forwards the backs struck next with a strong individual run by Max giving Stockwood a 33-point lead.

However, Milton Keynes were not done and the next passage of play, saw them camped on Stockwood’s 5 metre line. Whereas, prior to this passage of play Stockwood had showed their attacking strengths they were now showing how good they were in defence, but the power of the Milton Keynes forwards finally went over for their second try of the day.

With our opponents now tiring the speed of our backs proved too much for Milton Keynes with Paulius running in a further two tries to complete his hattrick and to add insult to injury Mark kicked a conversion. Milton Keynes did, however, have the last say as they ran over their third try of the afternoon, making the final score 50 points to 15 points to Stockwood Park.

After the disappointment of losing to Leighton Buzzard the Colts did themselves proud. They were too strong for Milton Keynes in every area of the pitch and considering they had not played a competitive game for a few weeks the whole team excelled.

Spalding 1XV v Stockwood Park 1XV

On a rain sodden pitch and with a strong wind blowing diagonally across the ground, Park were eventually beaten 18-5 in a niggly game by a physical Spalding team who used their superior size to good effect in the heavy conditions. Park defended with great commitment with their forwards working hard and created their own chances with some fine handling but tries conceded on the stroke of halftime and just before the final whistle gave a final score which did not reflect the match.

Park kicked off with the wind behind them but then generally failed to make use of it as much as they could have done to give themselves field position. Spalding scored first with a penalty before Park responded after a period of pressure with an excellent try from 18 year old Flanker, Keiron Taylor (another product of Park’s Youth setup).  The home team bounced back with a good individual try on the stroke of halftime from their No 8 who was prominent throughout.

In the second half and with Park now playing against the elements, Spalding increased their lead with a try following a kick and chase after latching on to a loose ball in Park’s midfield before they added another try in extra time to make the final score 18-5.  Although defeated Park could take a number of positives from the game in which they showed great commitment and discipline in some testing situations.  Scrum Half Frank Daly was nominated as Man of the Match for Park.

This week Park travel to St Neots RFC to play their recently postponed fixture.

Park’s 2nd xv continue their fine league season with a 35-17 victory over Old Northamptonians.

Wellingborough Ladies v Stockwood Park Ladies

With the latest edition of our league quest upon us it was time for the annual Coach Trip. Once a year a game is selected for the ladies to travel together and celebrate their successes, and Wellingborough away was a good one due to its distance. Having had a disjointed week with various storms and floods all around, training had literally been washed out. And with availability light for once, it was a chance for newbies and returnees to have a go. However, the strength of this club, which I have said before, is this ability to still put out a squad of 18 even with half a dozen regulars missing.

On the way up Steve and I were discussing the formation with a brand-new second row, returning props after 1 and 2 yrs out – possibly having to play flanker. A flanker at inside centre but not having a lineout jumper so she would have to join the line out and somebody else go to outside centre to cover. It wasn’t going to be straightforward and with Wellingborough finally getting a squad of 18 themselves this wasn’t going to be easy – in fact we both predicted a 5-10-point game.

Having arrived separately to the girls it was nice to see everybody in good spirits, pretty chilled but switched on. The pitch was heavy and had some standing water on it but was playable. There was a stiff breeze blowing downhill and we again decided to play against the elements in the first half.

We started brightly and had a really good structure, probing at Wellingborough and making them defend. As we thought, Wellingborough were full of spirit and with some new faces were being competitive, but I felt we had the upper hand. Having created a few opportunities, unusually our passing in the back line was just a bit off, and promising positions became knock ons and scrums – the one thing Wellingborough did have was a solid scrum which was difficult to move with the weight they had. This meant that they were getting possession and opportunities of their own but to be honest, Charli was all over the 9 and 10 and they just could not get it out. We would then compete at the ruck and turnover or force a knock on and get the ball back that way. Daisy created mayhem in the last game we played, and I think they were trying to stop her from doing that but with Dara, Abbie, Shania and Hazel contributing greatly the workload was spread. Forcing Wellingborough back onto their line, moving through phases and looking after the ball, Daisy gets over to put the first points of the day and with Aimee converting it was 7-0 after 15 minutes and deserved.

Now I don’t know what it is about restarts, but Wellingborough kicked it long we let it bounce, and bounce and bounce and then under pressure pick it up and touch it down in our goal area. A 5-meter scrum to Wellingborough, who have a couple of big forwards who are not particularly mobile but crash well and retain possession. Now for the next 5 mins we are defending well but not getting out and eventually their no 7 gets it a bit wider to score. With the conversion missed it was 5-7 to us but talk about shooting yourselves in the foot.

With 10 minutes left in the half, it was time for Georgia to make her debut. We see it out having made a few other opportunities but just starting to fall off the intensity a bit, so half-time was a welcome chance to regroup. The wind was quite strong so to turn around in front was good, albeit it could and should have been better. At this time Katie M deserves a mention as this was really her first proper stint and she was fantastic! And Georgia clearly bought some aggression and punch which was great. We discussed the wind and the slope – the odd tactical kick would be great as playing in Wellingborough’s 22 would be ideal.

Knocking on from the re-start gave away field position and the first 5 minutes or so was a bit of an arm wrestle. A few highish tackles were being missed and Wellingborough were counter rucking and disrupting us a bit as we were short on numbers at the rucks. Finally, creating a bit of space, Aimee kicked deep, and we were playing where we wanted. With a few exchanges of penalties: in at the side, off our feet etc, we kept breaking the rhythm a bit. But Wellingborough were trapped in their 22 and pressure would eventually tell with Dara crashing over to score what turned out to be her first try. At 5-12 a little bit of space.

We started to dominate territory a bit now and the forwards were creating good platforms for the backs to have a go and you could see it coming. Lisa, Chloe, Tracey and Fresh nearly getting through. Finally, a lovely move which left Fresh mismatched with a forward in midfield, allowed her to dart through to score just aside the posts. With Aimee converting, 5-19 seemed a good platform to push on. In fairness to the opposition though, they weren’t about to lie down and with their 10 making distance with some good clearance kicks, finally they found a bit of field position to have a go and moving hands nicely with good support play the 7 scored again just to the left of the posts. With the conversion hitting the post, at 10-19 and 10 minutes to go – this wasn’t a done deal.Returning to the original plan and having a lot of possession in Wellingborough’s 22, by now Shannon and Iqra were on making debuts, as Daisy had given her all and needed the break. We were putting real pressure on and with the penalty count rising we had a lot of the ball and were keeping it well and with a sweeping move involving nearly all of the team from one side to the other through 8 or 9 phases, Aimee got on the end and scored again to the right of the posts. Possibly the best try of the game due to the whole team effort taken to produce it.

It turned out to be the last play and with Aimee also hitting the post it finished 10-24, in what was a very competitive game. We may have left a few points out on the field but the consensus was that it was a real team performance and everybody did their bit be it as a new starter or more long standing member.

Wellingborough will only get better if they can keep those numbers up, as it is, they always play to the end and should be congratulated for their determination and persistence. For us we remain unbeaten since Xmas and with 2 games of the league season left, we have an opportunity to consolidate 3rd place and finish the season on a high.

Big well done to everybody but a personal thanks from me to Charli, Abbie, Daisy, Dara, Aimee, Fresh and Tracey for galvanising everybody together which allowed Georgia, Katie, Iqra and Shannon the freedom to play in their first real games. Thanks to Shania for playing hooker when she doesn’t really want to and Lisa, Claire, T, Kim and Chloe for their consistency. Finally, the last call to Hazel, who has taken herself on a personal journey through injury and managed to play more time than in the last 2 years. I was very pleased for you.

Forward of the match: Katie Murphy

Back of the match: Charli Bligh

Gnome one like you: Dara Cornwall

Stockwood Park 1XV v Huntingdon 1XV

Two outstanding tries from 18 year old left wing Luke Corsey (another product of the Club Youth system) set the tone for an excellent Stockwood Park bonus point victory on Saturday over visitors Huntingdon. Both teams contributed to an entertaining game with some brisk and controlled passing in what, at times, was a blustery wind blowing straight down the pitch.

Park, playing into the wind in the first half, dominated field position and although some scoring chances went begging it was eventually lock forward Phil Doherty, who had a fine game, who eventually broke the deadlock when he charged over under the posts with centre Sean Martin adding the extras.  Park turned round with a 7-0 lead at halftime.    In the second half, although the visitors worked hard, it was Park who took control with tight head prop Ricardo Noguera adding strength in the scrum and Park’s backrow of Powell, Taylor and Brooks prominent.

Luke Corsey now scored his two tries, showing blistering pace down the left wing before Fly Half Brandon Lewsey added the bonus point try with a trademark interception.  Sean Martin added the extras for all three tries.  Huntingdon scored a converted try of their own on the final whistle but by then Park were deserving winners.

Next Saturday Park travel to Spalding RFC for their next league fixture.

Park’s 2nd XV maintained their superb season with a 78 – 5 league victory over Olney RFC.

This weekend at Stockwood Park

It’s a home game for our 1XV vs Huntingdon on Saturday with a 2:15pm Kickoff.

Showing on our big screen are also the 6 nations games:

Italy vs Scotland 2:15pm Kickoff
Wales vs France 4:45pm Kickoff

On Sunday World Cup Final runners up look to find form against Ireland with a 3:00pm kickoff

Away games for Stockwood Park this weekend are our Ladies and Mini section.

Ladies vs Wellingborough 2:15pm Kickoff
Minis vs Enfield 10:00am start

Bar opening:
Saturday 12:00pm
Sunday 13:00pm

Dunstablians 1XV v Stockwood Park 1XV

Stockwood Park travelled to Dunstablians for the third time this season, the fourth match against them. This time the contest was in the Bedfordshire Vase competition.The game was played at a brisk pace with both sides creating chances.

First to score after just 7 minutes was Rob Jack the Stockwood full back following a good period of sustained possession. Conversion by Brandon Lewsey was successful. From the kick off Dunstablians applied a period of pressure with their forwards driving forward at the Stockwood defence, this resulted in a try in the corner on the 13th minute. Conversion missed.From this kick off it was Stockwood’s turn to apply pressure and following a lineout close to the Dunstable try line Stockwood prop Justin Harkin drove over for a try, again in the corner, this time the conversion was missed.

The game now ebbed and flowed with these evenly matched teams driving and tackling for all they were worth. The Stockwood scrum holding its own against a well drilled forward and scrum unit. On the 23rd minute Dunstablians scored a try after a close drive which was converted. The game then flowed again until almost half time but just before the break Stockwood left wing Luke Corsie broke free to score a try, this was converted by Brandon Lewsey.

Half Time Dunstablians 12 – 19 Stockwood Park

The second half saw more of the same intense rugby with neither side getting the upper hand in the early exchanges. After a period when Stockwood were resolute in defence Dunstablians were awarded a scrum which resulted in them scoring a try, conversion missed. Both sides were now tenacious in both attack and defence with no quarter being given. On the 37th minute of the second half Dunstablians were awarded a penalty in the Stockwood 22 which was converted into 3 points to give them the lead.

Despite coming under some intense pressure from Stockwood and a period of forward driving Park were unable to score and so Dunstablians deservedly go forward in the competition.

Next week Stockwood return to League action with an away match at St Neots.

 

Stockwood Park Ladies 1XV v Royston Ladies 1XV

With the 6 Nations starting and England’s men being put to the sword in France, once again it’s left to the Women to lead the way and with the Roses starting their 6 Nations with a positive win, it was time for the Huns to return to the field hoping to avenge a pre-Xmas defeat away at Royston.

It’s a true testament to the ladies that even with a few players unavailable or sick that once again a solid squad of 18 were available and ready to go. This has stood us in good stead this year and a positive result, albeit temporarily, would take us to the third spot on the table. Royston, holding 2nd place, must’ve felt a sense of De Ja Vu as we chased down them down once again to alter the league positionings. Royston are 2nd for a reason as they are well coached, tough to break down and hold a similar spirit to our own. This wasn’t going to be easy, especially with Lisa, Dara, Lee-Anne, Eleanor and Fresh unavailable.

Sophie and Hannah had made the trip from university, but we were struggling with filling inside centre. Whilst it not being ideal for the back row forward, Hannah stepped up and undertook the role at 12. T had to go at fullback, having never played there before, so whilst having a decent squad, there were some potential headaches. In our previous 3 meetings I have always felt that the forwards were evenly matched, but that we were slightly more physical that should give us the edge. The game started at a real pace and intensity which Royston clearly matched and whilst spending a lot of time in Royston’s half, we couldn’t finish the opportunities we created due to some off colour passing and the pressure Royston were exerting – albeit in defence.Royston’s tough 15 managed to create a couple of breaks but these were stopped dead by  T  with some immaculate positioning and fearless tackling.

The experiment with Hannah at 12 wasn’t quite working due to her instinct to take the contact which was resulting in a continued arm wrestle. The counter rucking was starting to prove fruitful as it was disrupting the flow for Royston with Daisy leading from the front and smashing girls out of the way. This led to the forwards’ competition being quite ferocious. Charli was doing a great job moving the ball and tackling their 9 and 10 to stop anything developing. We had talked about moving the ball wide and at last we started to do this; with some good wrap around play Chloe and Aimee combined to drive us forward only to be stopped 5 metres out.

Finally, with the ball having been half cleared, P drove into contact and the ball was won and set back for Shania who was on hand for the second phase. The ball was again won, and this time shifted out through hands to Sophie who had the space to get in the corner and give us the points the domination deserved. Making a change, Tracey and Hannah swapped and this clearly had a positive effect both at the breakdown (Hannah’s favorite area) and with Tracey able to ship the ball on – which made us function slightly better.

This score picked us up a bit and again we dominated possession and whilst not completely on it was posing a real threat to the try line with the forwards again making the ground. Abbie and Kristie were combining well and with the rest supporting, created the space again for Sophie. She had a bit more to do this time but cutting back inside cut through to score under the posts, with Aimee converting at 12-0 and 25 mins or so gone perhaps we could push on a bit.

However, Royston had other ideas. From a knock on, again at the KO, we had gifted Royston field position and for the next 5 mins or so they were knocking on the door. Excellent tackling from Tracey, Charlie, P and Daisy kept them at bay but they were close and continued to attack. With half-time approaching a penalty to Royston 5 meters out under the posts saw Royston’s tough fullback look to score. However, I don’t think she was expecting to be hammered backwards faster than she came forwards by Abbie and Kristie for a truly crunching tackle that stopped that attack dead and the half was done at 12-0.

With Cathy now on to give Shania a breather as she had something in her eye, it left just Kim to get a runout and for all to be used. We needed to be bright in the second half and to be fair we started well, and the counter rucking went up a level. We again spent the majority of the time in Royston’s half and with a lot of probing and keeping the ball moving Daisy got on the end of a move 5 meters out to crash over and score. At 17-0 perhaps now was the time to push on. However, Royston were not lying down, and with getting a bit of possession they pushed us back with the fullback driving them on. It became us who had the odd flurry into their half as with the wind behind, and ever so slightly downhill, Royston were keen to get on the board. Most of the second half was spent in midfield with possession changing hands and both sides thinking they had opportunities – 3 times Sophie was caught by her shirt more than anything else – and we just couldn’t finish them off.

With 10 minutes to go Royston finally had dominant field position and attacked with real gusto, but Stockwood’s defense was immense as on 2 occasions they were held up over the line for us to turn the ball over and clear our lines. We were stealing lineouts and pinching scrums; it was really very good. Daisy was making some crunching tackles and we were giving some penalties away in our eagerness to stop them. Finally, with 1-minute left, Royston managed the first real quality move – slinging it out wide and the never say die fullback had enough room to avoid T for once and although she was tackled, she was over the line to score. With the conversion missed, time was up, and the Huns had won a bruising encounter. The 17-5 score reflected the game in more ways than one – the right team won but it wasn’t easy.

That makes 4 on the bounce now and confidence is rising with the return fixture at Wellingborough being the next league game. The Huns have set themselves up well to finish the season with a real flourish.

For me it is becoming harder and harder to pick out players of the match. Aimee has really settled at fly half and is giving us great control, P is giving us a real go forward all the time and her tackling is great, Shania is just playing great… I could go on and on (like I do) about everybody. I would like to give a Coaches shout out to Abbie; a calming influence who is so consistent it almost becomes unnoticed – just so you know it isn’t.

T won back of the match with a sensational performance and Daisy was given forward of the match for her constant go forward and serious counter rucking – particularly mentioned by the ref. Kim won the ‘Gnome one like you’ award for being told she was going on and 5 minutes later was still taking off her tracksuit bottoms…

Next week sees a friendly at home against long-standing friends of the team, Kilburn Cosmos.