STOCKWOOD 31 BARCELONA 5
Stockwood Park colts rounded off their season with probably their best performance against a very well organised, fit and big Barcelona University side.
On a very large 4G pitch, in wonderful surroundings, the boys put in a formidable display. From the very beginning of the warm up, the coaches were delighted, if not somewhat surprised, to see the boys fully focused with the task at hand.
The first 15 minutes were extremely tight with both packs trying to get on top , however neither managing to get a foothold in the game. The game continued to ebb and flow with some outstanding defence from both sides , somehow keeping the score 0-0 after 25 minutes.Stockwood’s pressure was however now beginning to tell , and following a succession of penalties Skipper Frank Daly took a quick tap penalty, fed his brother Alfie Daly who stood the last defender up and with a perfectly timed pass set James Baker to go over on the wing. The delight on every players face was a joy to see and the belief transcended throughout the team.The three elder experienced players, Sonny Monaghan, Alex Linney and Will Rowan-Standring now really began to lead by example with some great runs and tackling by all three, got Stockwood the go forward.
Dan Farmer- Patel made a great run from inside the opponents 10 metre line from a beautiful weighted pass by Joe Brady and was unfortunate to get caught 10 meters out, however Frank was again on hand to pick the ball up at the base of the ruck to side step his way over, with Liam Taylor adding the resulting conversion over, Stockwood went in 12-0 up at half-time.
The second half started with the opponents making wholesale changes and with their large squad being able to rotate and keep players fresh, the signs were ominous that the lads could not keep up with the unbelievable pace of the first half.
Following great hands and awareness from the backs, wonderfully led by Harrison Jones at fly half, Stockwood increased their lead when Liam Taylor was bundled into touch a metre out, however the referee interpreted that the last gasp tackle was high and he therefore awarded a penalty try.
The middle of the second half was real backs against the wall stuff as a series of penalties against the boys resulted in our hosts getting a try back and themselves on the score board. Testament however to our front row of Lewis Newbury, Cameron Jones and Alfie Daly along with 2nd Rows Lee Brooks and Dean Riddell who pretty much drove our opponents into the ground with their outstanding defence and handling when the opportunities came along.
An outstanding try by Dan Corsie, following great three quarter play by Kai MacArthur and Alex Bird, ensured that Park’s lead was extended, Dan showing what an outstanding talent he is by scoring in the corner, leaping and dragging three desperate defenders over with him.
The boys however kept the best to last with a truly outstanding try to round of a wonderful team performance. From their own half they managed to keep the ball alive between forwards and backs and following approximately 15 phases of play Lee Brooks burst through only to be caught ten metres out, he however had the presence of mind to feed Alfie while falling, who in turn fed a better placed Kai who went over under the posts.
The joy on the boys, coaches and parents faces following a truly remarkable passage of play was an absolute delight and was a fitting end that our two guests from our neighbouring Luton rugby side, were the last two players involved, proving what great friendship exists between these two teams.
Before the game Barcelona had asked if they could bring on a younger player, whom suffers from Downs Syndrome, to which we were more than happy to agree. The Colts were instructed not to tackle this player however what happened next will live in the memory of every person who witnessed the following event.
Picking the ball up on the half way line the lad was encouraged by everyone to make a break for the line. As he side stepped, ran backwards and eventually forwards with despairing attempted tackles by every member of the Stockwood Colts team he scored! He was subsequently lifted in the air by players of both sides, was given the match ball by Steve Rowe and went home a very happy young man.
It summed up beautifully what a great bunch of lads this year’s Colts have been and although at times struggling for numbers and consistency a real core of true Stockwood Park players have developed. The club will be a better place for these players as will next year’s Colts side with those players not yet eligible to play senior rugby.
On behalf of the coaches and parents it was an absolute pleasure to witness such a wonderful performance and to see the maturity of each playing member of Stockwood Parks 2016 touring side – well done lads!
- Lewis Newbury
- Alfie Daly
- Cameron Jones
- Dean Riddell
- Lee Brooks
- Sonny Monaghan
- Alex Linney
- Joe Brady
- Frank Daly (C)
- Harrison Jones
- Alex Bird
- Will Standering
- Dan Corsie
- James Baker
- Liam Taylor
- Dan Farmer-Patel
- Kai MacArthur