Stockwood Park once again missed an opportunity to register their first win of the season with a 45-19 loss away to Harrow RFC. Park showed promise in both halves, but that good work was overshadowed by silly mistakes that were pounced upon by the home side. The score may read as another bad loss for the Stuggling Stockwood side, but for 20 minutes in either half they looked more like their promotion winning selves, playing with speed and using their barnstorming centre partnership of Jack Brooks and Martin Rowe to puncture the Harrow defensive line. The home side were clinical in their finishing, and despite some superb defence from winger Charlie Bennett, the home side crossed three times in the first half. But a determined Stockwood rallied, with Jamie Hoque and Will Varnals fronting up and putting in some strong hits. Jack Brooks was the first of the centre pairing to cross for Park, after a strong lineout drive took Stockwood to within five metres of the Harrow line, fly half James Hankey called for the ball, and with Rowe tipping it on perfectly to an on-rushing Brooks to barrel over late into the half. Try was converted.
HT score Harrow RFC 19 – 7 Stockwood Park RFC
The second half started poorly for the visiting side, with Harrow’s back row proving to be a problem, both at scrum time and in the loose, and when the Harrow six dotted down minutes into the half, onlookers may have thought Park would go into their shell as they have in previous fixtures.
Again Stockwood rallied, and managed to get on the board again after outside centre Rowe ploughed his way through flailing Harrow defenders to dot down and bring Stockwood back into the game. Try not converted.
Despite the try, Harrow came back stronger and continued to cause problems for Park, and ran in further scores to dent hopes of a mighty comeback.
Park to their credit never gave up, and with strong running from tenacious front rower Justin Harkin and powerhouse number 8 Aaron Beattie, they worked their way back into the Harrow 22 and after the forwards had dragged in defenders with strong, accurate runs, James Hankey was able to throw one of his trademark dummies and show a good turn of speed to dot down under the posts, which was converted.
But despite pushing for the fourth try which would have brought a welcomed try bonus point, the final whistle brought the curtain down on another missed opportunity.
Captain Jamie Hoque said: “ Again in phases we were strong, and we proved that we can attack and defend against the stronger teams in this league.
Harrow were clinical in their finishing, something we have struggled with throughout the course of the season, but we will come together again on Tuesday and Thursday, and try and iron out the problems before we take on Tabard Saturday.”