Stockport just managed a 1 point victory over visitors Altrincham Kersal in a hard fought game at Headlands Road.
The final score of 16-15 was a true reflection of how close the game was but it also could have been a different story if the AK kicker had been as successful as Stockport’s Liam McGovern.
Stockport v Altrincham Kersal North West 1 Saturday 13 January 2018
Stockport just managed a 1 point victory over visitors Altrincham Kersal in a hard fought game at Headlands Road. Much of the game was played between the two 22 metres lines, with only one try for Stockport to two for AK. For most of the second half it was the visitors, who played with greater intensity and better continuity but Stockport held out against the pressure and during the last 10 minutes, when they were down to 14 men kicked for territory to keep AK in their own half. The final score of 16-15 was a true reflection of how close the game was but it also could have been a different story if the AK kicker had been as successful as Stockport’s Liam MCGOVERN. Simon GREEN was Stockport’s man of the match, with an outstanding performance at the line out and a huge contribution in the loose play.
Stockport made a positive start, dominating the first 20 minutes during which the AK No 13 was yellow carded. However the only points Stockport had to show for this period was a McGovern penalty. As the first quarter came to an end AK eventually got into the Stockport half, with good continuity and offloading, creating the opportunity for their 13 to go in under the posts for a 3-7 scoreline. Stockport replied immediately as McGovern put over a penalty for AK not rolling away from a tackle. The two teams shared the honours for the rest of the half, both having good periods of possession but no further score to leave it at 6-7 at the break.
AK started the half well with good support, pace and passing, scoring a try after only 5 minutes of the half, there was no conversion but the visitors were up at 6-12. McGovern added a penalty 3 minutes later to close the gap. AK continued to play well, with urgency and pace getting them over the gain line time after time. The pressure of defending eventually resulted in Stockport conceding a penalty, which the AK scrum half converted to take the visitors clear at 9-15. Stockport then had a very good period, after a good attack down the left wing by Rhodri MAYOR and Ben TURNER, Jordan PEARSON was held just short of the line. The ball was moved quickly to the right and after wing James Keane was stopped short Tom EATON was on hand to dot the ball down over the line, McGovern added the conversion to take the home side ahead at 16-15. With only 12 minutes to go James SHAW was yellow carded for a marginally high tackle and Stockport had to withstand some real pressure before good tactical kicking and a penalty opportunity allowed them to finish ahead and stay at 5th in the table.
The second XV were narrowly beaten 31-34 by Wilmslow in a high scoring game on the adjacent pitch. Next week is an away fixture at Firwood Waterloo, who are now in 3rd place, having recovered from a poor start to the season.