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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

Stockwood Park 1XV 59 Huntingdon 1XV 0

Stockwood Park extended their winning start to the season with their 5th successive victory in League and Cup rugby when they demolished Huntingdon in the second round of the RFU Senior Vase competition by 59 points to  0 in an excellent exhibition of running rugby by their young and speedy backs, all built on rock solid defence in all areas.

Former Colt No 8 Will Bennett had a field day, scoring 4 tries with some powerful running from the base of the scrum.  Speedy left wing Kyran Ryan scored two tries of his own with further tries from centre Alfie Daly, scrum half Frank Daly and finally by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey who also kicked 7 conversions to give him a total of 19 points in the game.

Park led 33-0 at halftime, with Bennett already having scored a hat trick of tries and maintained their pressure to the end. Huntingdon were not helped by disruptions caused by injury but they were never able to withstand the confident and skilful team performance by Park.

Stockwood Park now entertain Rushden & Higham RFC this Saturday in their next league fixture, a game which will be played in front of 100 former players who will gather for a pre match lunch.

Park’s 2nd XV , not to be outdone by the 1st XV, defeated a Bedford Athletic XV by 47 – 0 , also at home.

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.

Daventry 1XV 10 Stockwood Park 1XV 26

Despite going behind by 10 points to 0 within 7 minutes of the start to a strong running Daventry,  Park fought back with great tenacity to go in 10 – 6 behind at halftime, with two penalties from Fly Half Brandon Lewsey,  before taking  control of the second half to run out as worthy winners by 26-10. Despite the home side being reduced to 14 men with a red card, Park defended with great commitment and attacked with pace and skilful handling.  Lock forward Jack Brooks was outstanding throughout well supported by his fellow forwards.

Early in the second half Lewsey added a further penalty to make the score 12 -9 to Daventry before Park took the lead with a well worked try for left wing Kyran Ryan. Park’s backs handling with skill to work the opening for Ryan.  Jack Brooks then got on the score sheet with an excellent try, before Alfie Daly, playing in the centre, sliced through the now weary Daventry defence to finish off an excellent team try close to the posts. Lewsey added the extras. Only an adjudged forward pass in the last play of the game prevented Stockwood from also securing a try bonus point.

Park have made a very positive start to their League programme with 3 wins out of 3 and this Saturday return to Cup action with a second round tie against Huntingdon in the RFU Senior Vase at home, KO 2:30pm.

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

Stockwood Park 1XV 24 Bedford Queens 1XV 13

Stockwood Park maintained their good start to the new season with another hard earned league victory by 24-13 against Bedford Queens whose heavier and larger set of forwards  caused Park a number of problems for much of the game but who eventually ran out of steam as Park’s superior fitness and speedy backs secured their victory.

Park started slowly and were soon 10 – 0 behind as Queens kicked a penalty and then, using their forwards, forced their way over for a converted try. Close to halftime Park brought themselves back into the game when number 8 Will Bennett scored after a forward drive with Fly Half Brandon Lewsey adding the extras.

In the second half with Park still under some pressure, Lewsey kicked a penalty to level the scores before Queens took the lead again at 13-10 with their own converted penalty. As the game went into the last quarter Park took control.  Firstly, a strong break by replacement number 8 Ben Griffin was well supported by scrum half Frank Daly whose well timed pass sent left wing Kyran Ryan speeding down the wing to score. Lewsey, again kicking well at goal, added the extras before the same combination of Kyran Ryan with another try and Lewsey adding the conversion took Park to what proved to be a winning score of 24 – 13.

Park’s 2nd XV lost 27-26 to Leighton Buzzard while their Colts XV comfortably defeated neighbours Luton.

Next week Park travel to Daventry RFC for their next league fixture.

Cup Win For The Park!

For the second weekend in succession Stockwood Park travelled over 150 miles round trip, this time for their RFU Senior Vase Cup Match 1st round against Berkswell and Balsall RFC  near Kenilworth and for the second time they came out on top with a hard earned but deserved victory by 25-17 over their dogged opponents.

Park’s forward pack showed four changes from last week with Coach Tom Edmonds taking the field in the second row and dominating lineout possession on his throw in. Park, again led superbly from the front by Skipper and Hooker Tom Childs and supported by another powerful performance from lock Michael Powell competed well in all phases.  In the backs, half backs Frank Daly and Brandon Lewsey controlled the game well with Lewsey kicking skilfully from all phases.

Fly Half Lewsey opened the scoring with a penalty for Park before the home team took a 7-3 lead with a converted try which they increased to 10-3 with a penalty of their own.  Park bounced back with a well taken try on the blind side by Scrum Half Frank Daly after a strong run from Tom Edmunds to take the score to 10-8 before an excellent team try scored by left wing Kyran Ryan and converted by Lewsey gave Park a 15-10 lead at halftime. Early in the second half Park increased their lead to 25-10 with a fine try from Sean Martyn converted by Lewsey before the home team scored late in the half to make the score 25-17 at the end to Park.

When Ollie Daly came on as a replacement with twenty minutes to go, Park had three brothers on the pitch for the 1st XV (Frank, Alfie and Ollie). A proud moment for their Father Steve, a former player and former Park Colts Skipper.

Next Saturday Park play their first home league fixture against Bedford Queens RFC.  KO 3pm.

Great Start To The Season!

Stockwood Park started their new league season with a most encouraging victory away at Bourne by 31 points to 26 including an important try bonus point.  Park led from the third minute and were never headed. Despite a long coach journey, they started with intent and were 14 – 0 in the lead after 10 minutes with the home team barely in the game.  Park’s forwards were solid in the scrummage and with locks Jack Wharton and Phil Doherty securing plenty of lineout ball their young backs attacked with pace and skill. Newcomers Alfie Daly and Sean Martin in the centre and James Brennan at Fullback were prominent with both wingers Kyran Ryan and Aaron Colbert displaying plenty of attacking skill.

It was in fact Ryan and Colbert who scored the opening tries, both converted by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey who kicked well at goal throughout and soon added a penalty to take Park 17-0 ahead. Bourne now came more into the game. They had some strong running backs but Park’s midfield defence was excellent, well supported by their backrow of Michael Powell, Ben Griffin and debutant Sonny Monaghan, who had a fine game. Bourne reduced the deficit to 17-9 before halftime with 3 well struck penalties from their excellent goal kicker.

Park started the second half slowly and a defensive error allowed Bourne to close to 17-16 before a fine run from fullback James Brennan was well supported by replacement flanker Jack Brooks who scored under the posts. Lewsey added the extras. Park then increased their lead to 31-16 with a fine individual try by scrum half Frank Daly who had an excellent all-round game. Bourne kicked another penalty and then closed to 31-26 with a converted try close to the end. Park, however, were not to be denied and completed an excellent victory.

Skipper and Hooker Tom Childs, who led from the front throughout, was delighted with this encouraging start.

Next Saturday Stockwood Park RFC play Berkswell and Balsall RFC away in the 1st Round of the RFU Senior Vase Intermediate Cup.

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