Guis 10 Stockton 32
Report by Ian Hewson
Guisborough suffered another derby defeat, as Stockton achieved a season’s double over the Priorymen.
Going on the first ten minutes of the match, no one would have predicted the final result. Guisborough piled forward from the kick off, and a break by James Clark took play into the visitors’ 22 metre area. A series of penalties allowed the home team to pressurise the Stockton defence. From a scrum, PJ Finken-Hayes burst off his wing and broke through the midfield area. Recycled ball was passed from Jack Robinson to Mark Ferguson and the speedy winger raced over in the left hand corner to put the first points on the scoreboard. A difficult conversion drifted wide of its target.
A further penalty awarded to the hosts was kicked to touch 5 metres out. Winning the set piece Ferguson tried his luck through the midfield but unfortunately the ball was spilled close to the line.
Guisborough’s early dominance faded though as Stockton took control of proceedings. A brace of penalties saw the visitors take play up to the home team’s whitewash and it was no surprise when a try was scored from close range.
A second try to the visitors came soon after. A clever chip over the home defence was collected and a Stockton player had the simple task of scoring.
With the rain falling, handling conditions became difficult and a scrappy phase of the game was ended when the referee blew his whistle for half-time with the scoreboard reading: Guisborough 5 points, Stockton 10 points.
The hosts soaked up early Stockton pressure as the second half kicked off. Just as though it looked like they had weathered the storm, the visitors pounced on an intercepted pass which saw them increase their lead. The conversion was added to rub salt into the wounds.
With the Stockton pack winning plenty of ball and dictating play, a further try was scored in the right corner following a scrum. This was followed by a penalty kick which was successful from 25 metres out and in front of the home team posts.
An excellent catch by Michael Henderson sparked Guisborough into life as the ball reached the left wing. Ferguson’s strong run along the flank was ended though, when he was bundled into touch on the 22.
The hosts remained in the Stockton half and, following a penalty, attempted a quick-tap and drive towards the line. Closing in on the try-line the ball was spilled and the visitors kicked long, downfield. As Guisborough gathered possession a penalty was awarded to their opponents. This sparked a coming together of both teams which resulted in Clark being sin-binned for ten minutes.
From the penalty Stockton kicked to touch. Winning the line-out, the ball was moved swiftly along their back-line to the left wing where the visitors scored. The conversion was successful.
With time running out, Guisborough managed to mount one last attacking move. From a scrum on their 22, Clark broke through the midfield. Robinson added pace and weaved his way past defenders and into opposition territory. Liam Corcoran, playing as an emergency centre due to injuries, was in support to take a pass before releasing the ever dangerous Ferguson who powered his way over for the score of the day. The conversion was missed and there was no more time on the clock as the referee ended the game with score reading: Guisborough 10 points, Stockton 32 points.
The team battled away and never gave up, but Stockton were just too strong on the day and ran out deserved winners.