STOCKPORT FALL AT THE FINAL FENCE
Disappointment for Stockport in play off on final day of a most successful season.
Disappointment for Stockport in play off on final day of most successful season.
There was disappointment for Stockport as they hosted Luctonians from Herefordshire in the play off for promotion to National 2 North as the visitors won 18-10. Stockport suffered a real set back in the first 2 minutes when fullback Steve PEARSON
broke his leg. The sides were evenly matched but the difference in the end was 3 successful penalties and a conversion as both teams scored 2 tries. The half time score was 5-6 to the visitors and expectation was high as Stockport had the wind in their favour in the second half but Luctonians proved to be well organised and kept Stockport in their own half and in the end the pressure resulted in the winning try and conversion.
There was early promise as Bebbington made a break into the visitors 22 and passed inside to Harvey, who was stopped just short of the line. Luctonians converted penalty and added a second as Stockport were penalised in the scrum, where they were under pressure in the first quarter but got back on terms as the game progressed. The Stockport forwards did well and Hopkins was driven over the line but held up, as Stockport kept up the pressure Luctonians lost one of their props to the sin bin. From a lineout the Stockport forwards were well organised and pushed Harvey over the line for a try, the conversion hit the post. Anthony made a good break and Harvey stole a line out and kicked ahead to put the Luctonians defence under pressure with another lineout and drive but it remained 5-6 at the interval.
Luctonians started the second half well and after two penalties 5 metres out opted for a scrum and although the scrum wheeled round the number 8 was able to pick up and get the touchdown, there was no conversion but the visitors were now 6 points ahead. Stockport conceded a number of penalties, which prevented any real momentum and despite a number of powerful runs from Jamie ANTHONY
were unable to make any real progress. Luctonians kept up the pressure, Marwick stole a ball to stop the visitors as they tried to drive over under the posts but a penalty was conceded as Stockport tried to run the ball out. The penalty missed and Stockport had a chance as the game entered the final quarter, from a penalty on half way the kick gave Stockport a lineout 15 metres out the forwards completed a powerful drive with another try for Harvey, the conversion was just wide but Stockport were now only 1 point behind at 10-11. Despite losing a second player to the sin bin Luctonians put real pressure on the home side and after several drives eventually breached the defence to score a converted try to make it 18-10. Despite real efforts to run back at Luctonians in the last 10 minutes Stockport were kept pinned in their own half and it was the visitors who returned home with the promotion spot secured.