Stockwood Parks 2nd XV put in a strong performance in the cold at London Road on Saturday as they beat a strong Kempston side. The visitors, who won at the death in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, looked to bully their way through the hosts defensive line early on, but wave after wave of attack was repelled by a strong and determined Stockwood side.
Stockwood struck first with winger Aaron Colbert, continuing his rich scoring form this season. The ever present winger managed to acrobatically dot down an inch perfect cross field kick from outside half Matt Jones, who also slotted a beautiful touchline conversion.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure, and with precision kicking from Jones and the always reliable boot of Stephen Pollock, meant Kempston had to try and attack from deep in their half. It was this pressure that lead to the home sides second try of the afternoon 10 minutes befor half time, as Chenz Vincent Elderton was the benefactor of some great hands, again Jones playing his part with a perfectly placed miss passwhich fell into the hands of full back Liam Taylor, with Elderton dotting down in the opposite corner. Conversion missed.
With the second half starting as cold as it ended, a kicking battle started that seemed to continue throughout the half. Fortunately, Stockwood possessed the firepower to win the duel, with Jones, Pollock and full back Taylor kept the visiting side pinned back.
Kempston, lacking the firepower that saw them bully the hosts at their patch in October, struggled to keep up with the pace of Stockwoods agile yet powerful pack. back rowers Alex Linney, Warren Foskett and Jake Godfrey proving dominant across the park, with Foskett coming back into his barnstorming form that he showed for the 1st XV in their promotion and cup winning season last year.
Foskett was the benefactor of some great forward work, with powerhouse second rower Dom Barnes using his strength to guide a strong lineout drive to the Kempston line, with Foskett pouncing from the back, with all 15 players jumping coming to celebrate with the pack!
The try seemed to be the spark the Kempston side needed, and they began to play the style of rugby that has seen them climb the league table. And they were rewarded with their only try of the game with 15 minutes to go, after some smooth hands, fancy footwork and powerful running saw the Kempston centre dot down just wide of the posts. Conversion added.
The final 10 minutes of the game was a scrappy affair, with both sides kicking possession loosely and playing a barbarian style of rugby that may have been better suited to summer sevens.
With the final whistle came sighs, smiles and sore bodies as both sides welcomed the warmth of the changing rooms, with Stockwood celebrating their 11th win on the bounce.
Team Captain Seamus Griffin said after the game: “I am so proud of the lads, battling not only the conditions, but a strong Kempston side. Winning 11 games in a row is no mean feat, and we need to continue this form and take it into every training session and match day.
“Alex (Linney) and Dom (Barnes) were superb around the park, with Matt (Jones) kicking us into some great attacking positions.”
MOTM: Alex Linney