With a light drizzle drifting across Green Lane, Ormskirk kicked off in the first game of 2012. The ball bounced awkwardly for Stoke and the ball found its way into touch. The line-out was not straight so 'Kirk had the first scrum of the day. Stoke were quickly penalised for pushing too far and Chris Bartolo
kicked into touch.A good take by Harry James
in the line-out saw Ormskirk move into attack but were penalised at the breakdown allowing Stoke to kick clear.Ormskirk soon retrieved possession and a good kick and chase by Matty White saw Ormskirk back in the Stoke half.A couple of good runs by Kyle Hoy
Owens saw Ormskirk test the Stoke defence. Stoke eventually came up with the ball and for several minutes attacked the 'Kirk line but good aggressive tackling saw the lads hold the opposition back. Eventually the pressure told and from a 5 metre scrum Stoke moved the ball wide to go in at the corner and then kicking the conversion.From the kick-off Ormskirk were soon back on the attack and a good break from inside his own '22' from Graham Bishop
saw Ormskirk trying to play some enterprising rugby.Tom
Owens again tested the Stoke defence with a powerful run and when Ormskirk were awarded a penalty in the Stoke half it was hoped that they could put some pressure on the Stoke defence but the kick to touch swerved back infield allowing Stoke to run the ball clear.Again Ormskirk were guilty of losing the ball in good positions but were more than making up for it with some good tackles in the loose especially from forwards Luke
Millington, Kyle Hoy
and Arron Waggoner
. Just as it looked as if Ormskirk would go in just seven points down at the break Stoke were awarded a 5 metre scrum and from the resulting play used one of their powerful props to burst through and score under the posts to allow an easy conversion.
Half-time: Ormskirk 0 Stoke 14
With the wind now behind them Ormskirk were keen to get back on the field and from the kick off an acrobatic catch by Tom
Travis allowed 'Kirk to set up the first attack of the half.Ormskirk kicked long and this allowed the Stoke backs to run the ball back.Again good solid tackling saw Ormskirk's defence hold firm until Stoke were penalised for accidental off-side.There then came a good period of Ormskirk dominance with a lot of the play well inside Stoke's half. As hard as they tried 'Kirk just couldn't find away through a well organised and disciplined Stoke defence.Eventually Stoke managed to clear their lines and them made good use of possession to sweep up field to score their third try and conversion of the game. Ormskirk continued to try and break through the Stoke defence and when they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out the decision was taken for Matty White to kick the three points on offer. This was really the last major action of the game until the final whistle brought an end to the match.
Full-time: Ormskirk 3 Stoke 21
After 3 weeks off the coaches were delighted with the effort and commitment of the lads in holding the best team in the league to just 3 tries whilst being unlucky not to go over themselves. Stoke will be unlikely to face another game as hard as this one was for the rest of the season and once again shows that Ormskirk can give any team a run for their money when they play like this. The lads can now look forward to the local derby against Tarleton next week.