The dark clouds and stiff breeze failed to dampen spirits as Stockwood Parks Senior XV welcomed Midlands 2 East outfit Olney RFC to London Road today. Both sides were able to field a mixture of seasoned seniors and upcoming, fresh faces.
The game was played in four quarters and from the off the visitors adopted a Barbarian style of play, with long looping passes and quick line outs, but newly promoted Park remained structured even with so many new faces.
The home side struck first courtesy of tenacious winger Alex Harnett, with Park showing strong ball retention in the lead up to the score.
Olney showed great ‘bouncebackability’ and with a lively set of backs and a strong pack they were able to march their way downfield and quickly get back into the game.
Two further scores followed in the second quarter, one for either side, with crowd favourite Ben Griffin continuing his great form from last season barreling over from a short distance for the home side.
The final two quarters saw both sides look at new partnerships across their XV, with Club Captain Jamie Hoque ringing the changes to get a look at a host of new senior talent.
Both sides traded scores in the final quarter but were unable to get the decisive winning try, with the score ending four tries a piece.
Stockwood Park Club Captain Jamie Hoque: “We have been fortunate to retain the bulk of our squad from last season, as well as seeing many of the younger members of the squad step and and not be bullied by a seasoned and well drilled Olney side.
“We have been able to take many positives from the game, but I’m sure the lads know that there are things we still need to iron out before the beginning of the season.”
Stockwood begin their first season in London Two South at home against London Nigerians on Monday 10 September.