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Ladies in good win against Aylesbury

Sunday 8th September saw Stockwood Huns having the pleasure of visiting Aylesbury RFC for a friendly match, hastily arranged after the first league game had been awarded as a Walk Over due to lack of numbers from Tabard.

Aylesbury had had the same thing happen to them so it was good that both teams could get a run out. There could be no excuses made around playing conditions, with Aylesbury’s tremendous facilities; a 4G pitch, and the sun shining down. They have a new side entering the league just this year, but as a club they are well established so no doubt they would have good coaching and numbers, they also ran an Inner Warrior session prior to our game which was well attended
and seemed to be a great success.

With Abbie breaking down (car) and Dara feeling stiff from training we had a pretty novice front row, with Claire and P having had one training session and some pre-match coaching as preparation. With Hazel and Shania both having experience at front row but not much game time, we should have enough cover to keep the game competitive from a scrum point of view. With Debs’ knee still hurting she was the other absentee on the day, but we still had 21 players: it never stops amazing me how we, as a group, manage to dovetail so well to always have a strong squad.

The game started well, we had good intensity and with lovely hands went wide and fixed players prior to passing, giving Sophie the space she needs to accelerate away and score in the corner; last time out we took a rest when this happened but today we maintained the level and to be fair were a constant threat. The ref seemed to like a scrum as there were rather a lot but we were generally in control of the ball, Aylesbury defended well and put numbers at the breakdown which sometimes meant it was a bit messy but generally both sides played with a good structure. We never moved out of Aylesbury territory for all the first half, as our scrum half Charli and backs Sophie, Fresh, Eleanor, Lisa and the other Sophie were all over Aylesbury forcing them to panic a bit and cough up possession.

Sophie and Hazel had to go off with a bit of a knock meaning Tracey took over at fly half and P and Claire H were on for debuts in the positions. With Kim at fullback doing very little it showed the general dominance of the ball, Sophie scored a second that was ruled out after being allowed to beat 6 defenders and run half the length of the pitch for a knock on, so to be fair we had butchered a few chances to score with a hesitance in the decision making after playing some really good rugby to create the situation. Some credit must go to Aylesbury who never backed down, but at half-time and only 5-0 it was tighter than it should have been.

With the instructions to use the ball in the wider channels, the second half started even faster than the first with a sublime backs move of passing perfection to set Sophie away again to score under the posts this time for Tracey to convert. You could see that Aylesbury were hit by this a bit and now was the time to push the foot down, again to Aylesbury’s immense credit, they defended with real gusto but in the end the strangle hold we had on the back line was complete. A fantastic drive-forward move coupled with off-loading kept the ball flowing for Fresh to get on to it to beat the fine three defenders to register her 1st try of the season. At 17-0, with Kim joining the line and Dais taking a rest it was time for Ellen to have her first run out, with Cath Swindell also getting on with 15 mins to go, this was possibly our most inexperienced side we had played in sometime. Once again we showed some lovely hands; Eleanor had been terrific all day with this to create an overload for Ellen to finish with aplomb. With Sophie having had another flowing move chalked off for a foot in touch (she swears not) we were now turning the screw.

We were pretty well holed up in Aylesbury’s 22 for the last 5-mins or so as they gallantly tried to come at us, but our own defence had been good all day and they were going nowhere, at the final whistle it was 22-0 and we’d had a good workout.

Aylesbury should take heart of the biggest compliment I can give them; they look like they have played as a team for some time, despite this being their first 15 aside run out. They are good in defence, and once they find some attacking verve they will be dangerous side. For us this has helped immensely improve the depth and strength of our squad; with cover at Hooker and Prop, Chloe and Ally playing longer than for some time, and doing well, and Tracey covering at fly half – if the other 2 are not around we will be fine.

But a special mention this week goes to our scrum half Charli who was everywhere causing them all sorts of problems and just being a nuisance, then delivering the ball out for the girls outside her to do their thing, it was almost the complete performance. When you consider that regular scrum half Katie was also very good when she played last, I have a headache and that’s a good place to be.

Another shout out to Hannah, as she plays her last game with us for a while as she heads off to university at the weekend. Your lineout jumping will definitely be missed.

Onwards next week is a big challenge; Old Northamptonians away, a long established high level club. It is imperative we have good numbers at training this week so we are ready, but today was very well done and a pleasure to watch.

Forward of the match: Pariese Roberts
Back of the match: Charli Bligh
Gnome one like you: Chloe Wrench

OWTP!

Keith Head Coach

This weekend at the Park

We’re back this weekend after the summer break

Saturday
3pm – Senior Men vs Bugbrooke

Showing on our big 104” HD screen
Wales v Ireland – KO 2pm

Sunday
9:30am -12pm – Micros and Minis
11am – Colts vs Barnet Elizabethans

Ladies are away on Sunday at Aylesbury
2pm KO – Aylesbury Ladies vs Ladies

Bar Opening
Saturday 1pm
Sunday 12pm

Kitchen Opening
Teas, coffees, bacon rolls, chips, etc
Saturday 1pm
Sunday 9:30am

Ladies Day tickets on sale now

Our ladies day tickets are now on sale at £15. The ticket includes a buffet at 2pm prior to the main game which kicks off at 3pm.

Along with that there are 2 free cocktails included with the ticket and a disco from 8pm.

Ladies vs Fullerians

So here we go again, the 2019-20 season is upon us…

With Stockwood Ladies finishing last season with a flourish (unbeaten since the Christmas break), the coaches and team are really looking forward to this season to continue to further our development. With the RFU swapping the leagues around, we do feel on the back foot with the majority of games now against unknown sides, however, we will always turn up with a strong mindset and play our game, home or away. With changes in personnel due to injury and ventures to university, we will view this season in terms of performance rather than results as it feels as though we need to redevelop, especially as some key positions have been affected by the changes. Nevertheless, we still have a large squad of good players and just need to gel into a team again, which I know will happen. The opportunity to play Fullerians under the lights on a Friday evening was a good one. Splitting the game into twenty-minute sections ensured every one of the 24-strong squad could get a run out and try different plays, with the added bonus of highlighting what needs tweaking.

The game started fast; we gained possession very quickly and passing through hands shipped the ball out to Sophie M, turning on the afterburners and running it in under the post. A great start albeit Sophie K couldn’t add the extras. We had started in those first 5 minutes with energy and aggression at the breakdown from Fran, Dara, Cathy, Tracey, Hazel, Daisy, Lee-Anne and Hannah, however, after we had scored, this dissipated. We were not helped by having non-contested scrums, as Fullerians were a much smaller pack and this would have clearly affected the game. By becoming passive we allowed Fullerians to get into the game and they had a decent 10-12 and 15, who suddenly found they had the ball and were not under any real pressure. Despite some brave tackling from Eleanor, Fullerians got back into the game with a try in the corner. The Huns kept giving possession away with some sloppy handling which was compounded by the fact that in the first 20 minutes or so Fullerians had no real shape. This was proving a bit of a mind bend to the girls and without our own discipline, Fullerians scored again and added the extras. The first 20 minutes showed our rustiness, and with the opposition having played two games already, they were a little ahead.

The next 20 minutes however, having been asked for more aggression and care of the ball, we had some real ‘go forward’. The truth is, we pretty well dominated this section of the game. The forwards were no longer watching, pushing Fullerians back, Captain Daisy started to make ground with every carry and with the team in close support, possession was good. Handling improved, and off the back of a scrum, Daisy went blind and crashed over, coupled with Sophie M out wide resulted in an unanswered 10 points for the Park in our best passage of play. Katie marshalled well, Sophie K settled in at 10, and with Charli and Kimberley making important tackles; it was looking so much better.

The final 20 minutes: Sometimes it is easier to leave things as they are as this creates a better continuity, but what we needed was for everybody to play and have a go. So, the changes were made. Aimee; for her first game in 18 months after injury lay off, Claire; never having played a game in her life, and Chloe back after a short sabbatical. Fullerians had a smaller squad so made little changes, which is less disruptive to play, which in the end proved crucial as they started to regain possession, whereas we were getting tired. I had an urge to change it up with 5 minutes to go, but held off as we are a squad and all 24 needed to have the time. Fullerians were kept at bay for quite a while, however, we had the odd decision not go in our favour when in attacking positions. Fullerians managed to score twice more and with one conversion, took the score to 24-20. Despite a finale burst where we looked like we might score to snatch it, there was a knock on and the final whistle blew.

What we needed from the game I felt we achieved, Rugby is not an easy game and you do need to be match ready; we were not quite. But that’s the point of it as we will be ready for the next game which is more important as the league season begins!

Finally, as I move into my 3rd year of coaching this wonderful group, we have faced every challenge that has come our way with grit and determination and more often than note, come out the other side smiling. The group has been hit hard by injuries to players and others moving to different stages in their lives, but we are still here and we are still giving 100% and that’s all I ever ask for. Looking around the leagues, it appears some teams are struggling for numbers; we have picked up new players that will keep our story going, and having a great time on the way, we should be grateful.

Mentions:

Kimberly Grant: 1st time at Fullback – great job

Claire Hawes: 1st ever game – great job

Aimee Aslam: Back from injury – great job

Sophie King: 1st proper run out at 10 – great job

Charli Bligh & Katie Stapleton: Scrum half’s, giving me a headache! – great job

Daisy Casemore: 1st game as captain – great job

There’s a theme here, I could probably go through the whole team but the above are some highlights. If I haven’t mentioned you, that’s because you did a ‘great job’.

Training continues, ready to build for our first league game. Bring your gum shields and your attitude: OWTP!

Keith Standring

Head Coach

2019/20 Fixture lists available

The 2019/20 fixture lists for all teams are now available on our website.   The fixture lists are also available on your smartphone or computer by subscribing via the links below.

There as still some fixtures are still to be added, updates to fixtures on the website will automatically be updated to your computer or smartphone if you subscribe.    You must set up the calendar to refresh regularly otherwise updates will not automatically be picked up by your device.

You can unsubscribe from a fixture list at any time.

How to get fixture lists on your smartphone

Google calendar users should select the Google link for the team you want to follow below.    For Windows, Macs and smartphones where you do not use Google calendars, select from the Windows/Mac links below.   When you click on a link you will be prompted to add the subscription, select how often you want the fixture list to be refreshed from the website, select if you want to be notified when fixtures do change or if you just want them to be silently updated in the background, then click ‘ok’ or ‘yes’ and that’s it!    The fixtures should now appear.

You may subscribe to as many fixture lists as you like.    There is a single fixture list at the bottom of the list that includes all fixtures.

If you already subscribe last season the fixtures will already be reflected in your smartphone calendar.

Team

Windows/Mac

Google

1XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
2XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
3XV Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Ladies Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Colts Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U17 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U16 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U15 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U14 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
U13 Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
Minis Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google
All Fixtures Fixture list for Windows/Mac/Smartphone Fixture List for Google

*iSheep/Apple Users : When adding the calendar subscription you will be prompted to add the subscription to your ‘iCloud calendars’ or ‘Local calendars’, do not select the iCloud calendars . If you do select the iCloud calendars the fixtures will appear but they will not pick up any subsequent changes. Because you have to select ‘Local Calendars’ the subscription will not automatically be picked up on any other apple devices you own, to get the fixture list onto each device, simply follow the process above for each device.

*If you need assistance in setting up a subscription on your laptop or smartphone we have a helpless desk which operates on a Thursday evening after practice at the bar.   After 9:30 and a few beers we have many experts available to offer help and advice.

Congratulations Nick!

Former Stockwood Park RFC 1st XV Hooker, Club Secretary and Club Chairman Nick Powley, was last night elected President of The East Midlands Rugby Union at the Annual General Meeting held at Bedford Blues RFC.

Nick joined Stockwood Park in 1988 when his job moved from Kent to Bedfordshire.  He was a competitive and skilful Hooker in the 1st XV before becoming Club Secretary and eventually Club Chairman when his playing career finished.  As well as representing the Club on the East Midlands Committee Nick also represented the Club on the Bedfordshire Rugby Union Committee where he served as Secretary, County Chairman and now as President in addition to his position as the new President of the East Midlands Rugby Union.

Nick continues the close involvement of Stockwood Park RFC, over many years, with the Bedfordshire and East Midlands Rugby Union organisations.

 

Up & coming events

Sunday 4th August Club Clean Up Day. 9am start.

Saturday 10th August Ladies Team BBQ. Bar open 1pm – all welcome.

Sunday 11th August Club Clean Up Day. 9am start.

Sunday 11th August England v Wales On The Big Screen. Bar open 1pm.

Saturday 17th August Wales v England On The Big Screen. Bar open 1pm.

Sunday 22nd September RWC Breakfast & then Ireland v Scotland & England v Tonga on the big screen.

Saturday 28th September Ladies Day. Buffet, cocktails, 1st team league game & evening disco.

Saturday 5th October RWC Breakfast & then England v Argentina on the big screen

Saturday 12th October RWC Breakfast & then England v France & Ireland v Samoa on the big screen

Saturday 19th October Former Players Lunch

 

More details for each event to follow, but if you have any immediate questions email whatsonatstockwoodrfc@virginmedia.com

 

SPRFC vs. Milton Keynes Colts

We all turned up to Stockwood today for what was to be a number of the players last game as a junior. Our opponents today were Milton Keynes Colts who came in with a good record having not lost a single game this year. In fact, they narrowly beat us in the reverse fixture earlier in the year!

Stockwood started the game with the wind against them and the way the first half started it appeared Stockwood were in for a tough day at the office and would all have to bring their ‘A’ game. If there were any doubts about the commitment they would show these were quickly quashed and it was after a sustained period of pressure Stockwood made a break down the left wing and after a number of phases Sam broke MKs defences to power over for the first try, a score that was followed up with a successful conversion by Kieran B.

This was to prove the only score of the first half as neither team were able to add any further scores as both sides showed strong defensive displays and neither side was able to break through the lines. With neither side giving an inch the first half ended with Stockwood narrowly leading by 7 points to nil.

If the first half was a close with neither side budging the second half was to prove totally different. This half was totally dominated by the hosts and they put Milton Keynes under pressure from the kick off. With the wind behind them in the second half Stockwood built the pressure on Milton Keynes and after a number of phases in their 22. Stockwood initially tried using their backs to break the MK lines but our visitors were a match for this so the next phases Stockwood used their forwards and this was to prove more successful. After a couple of drives Mark was able to break the MK lines to score to make the score 12:0.

Stockwood spent the next ten minutes pressing but to no avail as Milton Keynes showed the same resiliense they had shown in the first half. Our forwards managed to break the resistance shown and with control at the rucks were able to power over the try line three times. The first of which was scored by Michael, the second scored by Joe and Sam helped himself to his second of the day to make the score 27 points to nil.

Not to be outdone the Stockwood’s backs decided it was their turn to get in on the act. Alfie received the ball on the right wing and showed incredible balance and speed to run past four or five MK players to score making the score 32 points to nil. The next try was probably my favourite of the day, Stockwood controlled a scrum on the half way line which resulted in Max making a typical run towards the opponents line, taking a number of their players out of the game. From the resulting ruck Will passed to Kieran who made a clever chip over the MK defence – a chip that was caught by Jordan who proceeded to rum around MKs defence to score between the posts, a try that was duly converted by Mark!

Even though the match was well and truly won Stockwood were hungry for more and once again put our opponents under pressure in their own half. This pressure led to a handling error and the loose ball being picked up by KT who ran past Milton Keynes defence to make the final score 44 points to nil.

This score-line was more impressive because it was the first time Milton Keynes had been beaten this year but also Stockwood recorded their second clean sheet of the season. It was also really good to see Ollie take to the pitch after the problems he has had this year with his collar bone. Just leaves me to wish the current crop of Colts all the best as the move up to play adult rugby and it has been a pleasure playing alongside them this year.