Category: Newsletter

If Carlsberg Did Weekends!

Saturday

8:15am – England v Australia showing on our big 104” HD screen
11:15am – Ireland v New Zealand showing in the small bar

Bar open & Breakfast available from 7:30am

1pm – Former Players Lunch

3pm – Stockwood Park 1XV v Rushden & Higham 1XV

Sunday

8:15am – Wales v France showing on the big screen

11:15am – Japan v South Africa showing on the big screen

Bar open & Breakfast available from 7:30am

2:30pm – Stockwood Park Ladies v Cuffley Ladies

All Go Saturday & Then Rest!

Saturday

9:15am – England v France showing on our big 104” HD screen
11:45am – Ireland v Samoa

Bar open & Breakfast available from 8:00am

2:30pm – Stockwood Park 1XV v Huntingdon 1XV

3pm – Stockwood Park 2XV v Beds Ath 3XV

Sunday

Mini & Youth Training

Kitchen open from 9am for bacon rolls, tea & coffee etc

Bar open from 12 noon.

Ladies vs St Neots

On Sunday the Park saw the visit of St Neots; a team we hadn’t played previously and an unknown quantity. This was the 3rd fixture of the season after a brave loss at early pacesetters Old Northamptonians, and a chance to get back on track.
It’s worth mentioning that at this point since last year’s campaign Park have lost 10 players to injury/pregnancy and university. This is a large number and can affect any team, but here we are with a squad of 22 for matchday: an exceptional statistic that we must be rightly proud of. With league debuts in certain positions, we talked about starting with intensity and defending going forward. On a much better day than forecast, we are set and away we go.

Early exchanges looked good and we hit the breakdown hard and won the ball convincingly, with Katie shifting the ball quickly to Aimee at 10 she was looking to release Debs and Fresh and ultimately Ellen and Chloe. St Neots were up enough to disrupt the flow, just about stopping 2 or 3 really promising breaks, to be honest, we should have scored in that first 10 minutes or so. From deep in their own half and under pressure, St Neots’ 15 found some space, with 2 or 3 missed tackles, she found herself clear. Kim did enough to slow her down but she had the support and St Neots were first to score, with the conversion made 7-0 after 12 minutes and a little against the run of play. Swapping a few things around, Charli was on for Katie who’s 10k run was taking its toll, she harried and chased and pushed us forward and we all started to defend on the front foot, putting on the pressure really started to tell as St Neots starting making errors. This galvanized us a bit and we pushed St Neots back and with the forwards working hard, pretty much the rest of the half was stationed in St Neots’ territory. From a penalty we had several attempts at getting over the line, only to be thwarted or make the wrong decision. Finally, Abbie cutting a line back in, managed to crash over and get Park on the board, and at 20 minutes the score was 5-7.

We began to push a bit more with Debs and Fresh running hard at their back line, St Neots never backed off but it was at this point they looked to be getting very tired and this was our opportunity, but we never took it. The 10, 12-15 axis was their strength and we were giving them too much time, as perhaps, we were tiring ourselves. Again, from another deep position, the 9 managed to get free and run full length and score. At 5-12 things weren’t going quite right, they had had 2 attacks and scored, but we were camped in their half but couldn’t work the space. Credit to St Neots for their defence, albeit they got away with playing the ball on the floor rather a lot.

From a penalty, Daisy took the ball in, with four players on her she went down and heard the infamous ‘pop’ of a knee, an ambulance was called due to not knowing if there was another injury too. Fortunately there is nothing broken but the full diagnosis is not yet known. The referee called half time 5 minutes early and we moved pitches. It’s never easy when a team mate gets hurt as your mind is with them, but we did start the second half where we had left off, and, under pressure, St Neots were panicking a bit. We managed to move the ball to Debs who twisted and turned to dive over, with Tracey converting, the scores were tied.
At 12-12 the feeling was of dominance as we continued to have pressure, but all of a sudden there was a collective drop in intensity, this lead to St Neots being allowed to play a bit, we were almost immediately punished, with another score close behind leaving the score at 12-26 – we needed to reassert ourselves quickly. Some 50-50s went against us, and for the second time we seemed to lack something in the last 15 minutes, especially after another score was awarded even though the line judge flagged for a foot in touch.
I don’t like saying it as it is not a true reflection of the Ladies, but perhaps with the Captain’s injury playing on minds, we seemed to have no energy left. With another score, at 12-26 the game was gone. However, we were to have the final say and returning to domination. Fresh forced her way over for a thoroughly deserved try, as the last play of the day, it was a 17-36 loss.

There were huge positives from some of the structure and play, I could point at something positive for every player. We just switched off as a unit, falling off tackles; which proves vital in a far more competitive league than last year. Although we have lost players, we are re-inventing ourselves which Steve, Gary and I are confident in. We have a small break before the next game (20th October), so plenty of time to put things right.

Forward of the match: Pariese Roberts
Back(s) of the match: Aimee Aslam and Faye Anderson
Gnome one like you: Ellen Walsh

Ladies take the heat

So, with the second week of the league campaign upon us Park had a trip to Northampton; traditionally a strong Rugby town, with ONs potentially one of the strongest clubs in the area. The changes in the league this year with new oppositions, and ONs being relegated from the division above, it was never going to be easy. Park are developing and improving week on week but today in what can only be described as conditions like playing in the Transvaal (hot and rock-hard ground), this would make the challenge even harder coupled with potentially 4 or 5 East Midlands players to contend with this could prove daunting.

So, the game really took part in two halves, (doh! I heard you say, but bear with me), especially as the pitch was sloped and the wind was blowing down it. The key was to take advantaged of the conditions when we could. We kicked off and the ball was knocked on just outside of ONs 22; we stayed there for the next ten minutes or so. A very competitive forwards competition was brewing and our backs line speed was quick enough to force errors in handling. We were comfortable at the scrum, with Katie feeding Aimee (her first competitive league game in 2 years), who shipped the ball well to Eleanor and Sophie, who were always a threat with Ellen also on the wing. If we could move it fast enough we would have a chance. ONs however, had a solid defence and were particularly good at the breakdown, with the second person in very quickly onto the ball. From one of these steals practically on their own line, they managed to break away and their elusive 11 got them up to our 22 before she was caught by Sophie M.

From here ONs kept possession well but we were keeping them at bay. However, working hard, they finally managed to overlap for their fast 11 to get over the whitewash for the first score of the day. At 5-0 with only 15 minutes or so passed, it was disappointing, especially as we had probably hashed a couple of our own opportunities prior to this, with the first real possession for ONs ending in a score. However, this galvanised us as we had some confidence from being toe to toe with this experienced team. Finally, putting some good passes together, Sophie M had enough space to sprint away and score under the posts, with Tracey adding the extra 2 points. With 20 minutes gone it was 5-7 to Stockwood.

Stockwood’s efforts were beginning to have an effect as ONs didn’t seem to like the fact that we were being competitive, and there was a bit of an arm wrestle beginning to happen. The game was mainly in the middle of the pitch with thrust and counter thrust being thwarted. Unfortunately, we were just not using our possession well enough and were starting to drop off a bit. ONs managed to create a bit more space again for the 11 to run in and score behind the posts the conversion making it 12-7 to ONs at half time.

The heat and the ground had had an effect, with Daisy off just after half time with a knee injury, and a few others suffering. But we had a squad of 21 so could swap about, the only thing being that a few people were slightly out of position. Whilst it is a credit to us to be able to do this, it can be a bit destabilising, especially under pressure. The opposition were also changing with injuries, but it appeared like for like. Tracey had come out to fly half as Aimee had come off to protect her knee; we have a long season and need to get through it with everyone intact. This year, more than the past two, the whole squad will be stretched as the league appears to be the most competitive we have played in.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were back to something of a competition, even though ONs had managed to get over again, at 19-7 we needed to score next to reassert ourselves. However, we were coughing up possession and defending by letting them come at us rather than going to them. It was getting a bit feisty, with the RFU protocols on concussion and protection of the head, I am not sure why they are yet to stop hand offs to the face which are always contentious as if the arm isn’t dead straight it’s either a punch or a slap. We have hearts of lions, and whilst not necessarily helping ourselves, we never give up and in the heat and with another score converted, at 26-7 the game was gone; there was no doubting that we appeared out on our feet. With two more scores from ONs to finish the game completely, in the end it looked a comfortable victory; I would say it was anything but and the fact that 19 of the 36 points were scored in the last 10 minutes points to that fact.

Despite the victory for ONs, I feel another big learning curve for us, our structure was pretty good and the lineouts and scrums were good all day. With Chloe and Catherine sharing wing duties for potentially the longest league game time, Kristie playing her first game in ages, along with Aimee. Claire H had only her second game ever, against a team of this standing, and was truly excellent. We never took our opportunities when they arrived and ONs experience told in the end. Hopefully by the time the next game is around, Fresh, Debs, Fran, Charli, Lisa, Emma and Sophie K will be fit and available; add these seven to any squad and we have just got stronger. We are becoming a strong squad and sometimes just need days like this to grow, and that is what will happen.

Forward of the match: Shania Mulvihill – tackling left, right and centre; she was everywhere
Back of the match: Sophie Maddock – the fastest person on the field, with the compliment of 2 people marking her
Gnome one like you: Catherine ‘Swing’dell – showing an alternative tackling style, effective, nonetheless

A rest on Tuesday then 5 Training sessions before next game. We are shaping up well despite changes going on.

OWTP!

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.

2019/20 Pre-season coaching staff and volunteer meeting

There are 2 meetings, one on Saturday 20th July, the other on Saturday 3rd August.   Both meetings run from 09:00am until 13:00pm.    If [Read More]

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