On a cold, overcast Sunday morning 18 lads turned up to face a big Old Verulamian team. Stockwood kicked off and put our opponents under pressure straight away controlling several phases. This early dominance, however, didn’t lead to a score. In fact, it was our opponents who scored first with their first meaningful attack, helped by a few missed tackles, leading to a converted try.
This seemed to be the wake up call we needed and Stockwood controlled the rest of the first half running in four converted tries. The first was scored by Michael after a sustained period of pressure in Verulamian’s half he broke the line from a ruck to score underneath the posts. The next two tries both came from moments of individual brilliance, the first of which was scored by Alin who scooped the ball up following a mistake from our visitors and then ran half the pitch to score underneath the posts. James then showed his pace as he broke through the Verulamian’s line and then there was only going to be one winner to the try line. All three tries were duly converted by Kieran. The next try was more of a team try with some excellent passes leading to the second try of the day for James and a fourth conversion for Kieran.
Stockwood continued to press for more scores in the first half and would have had it not been for a dropped ball following an excellent offload by Joe! The first half finished with Stockwood leading by 28 points to 7.
The second half started and if Stockwood thought that it would go the same way as the first then they were in for a rude awakening. Old Verulamian’s started the stronger and after several phases early on they drove over for their second try, which was quickly followed by a conversion and a third try to close the gap to 11 points – 28 points to 19.
Stockwood Park buckled down after this early scare and were unlucky not to get their fifth try of the day as Luke C broke down the left wing leaving his opposite number in his wake only to be pulled up by the referee who judged that he had stepped into touch. Following this close call Stockwood started a period of dominance and put Old Verulamian’s under pressure – after a number of phases Stockwood controlled a ruck in our opponents 22, Connor claimed the ball and a clever offload allowed Paulius to run over for his first try of the day (no handling errors this time!). A try that Kieran converted to give him his fifth score of the day. This try was quickly followed up by another sustained period of pressure leading to James getting his hattrick with a try in the corner.
This was to prove to the last score of the day as the ref ended the game early as one of Old Verulamian’s players suffered an injury following a tackle. The final score was 40 points to 19 in favour of Stockwood Colts. I thought the whole team were really good today and fully deserved their victory.