An even contest but Stockport injuries give Douglas an advantage on heavy pitch
Stockport create chances but unable to convert them as Douglas score at start and end of game to secure a 12-3 victory.
Stockport travelled to the Isle of Man for a mid-table meeting with Douglas, supported by a band of 'alicadoos' and their spouses, all enjoyed excellent hospitality at Douglas Rugby club and several drinks in local hostelries following the game. Despite the fine day the pitch was very heavy and resulted in very little real pace to the game. The home side scored a try just before full time to take the points with a 12-3 victory. In what was a fairly even contest, Stockport did not manage to convert the two real chances they created to score tries, while Douglas took their openings to score at the beginning and end of the match. Stockport suffered with a spate of injuries notably the loss of the valuable Simon Green with a dislocated thumb after only 20 minutes. Hooker Andy Broadhurst and back row Dan Brotherton both had to come off with head injuries and coach Dean Schofield suffered an ankle injury. In this context it was a great effort by Stockport to get to 78 minutes and only be 5-3 down, despite the loss of Jordan Pearson to the sin bin during the second half.
An early penalty and line out drive took Stockport close but a knock on gave Douglas the chance to clear. After 10 minutes Douglas made their first attack and with the ball going wide right and then back to the left the wing outflanked the Stockport defence for an unconverted try. Stockport then had a great attack after James Shaw turned over a Douglas line out and Stockport looked to have an overlap with a penalty advantage, the home defence did well and Stockport had to take the penalty to make it 5-3. Stockport had one more good drive before half time but were turned over 10 metres from the Douglas line and the home side cleared to the Stockport 22 and the visitors had to defend a scrum following a knock on and then it was half time.
The second half was evenly fought, Stockport’s new recruit at centre, Josh Schofield showed some speed to get into the home 22 but the ground conditions slowed the move up. There was some good scrummaging by Stockport and a great effort to keep Douglas out during the yellow card period but Douglas made a sustained attack in the closing minutes and their wing got a try that was converted to take a losing bonus point away from Stockport.
Next week is the rearranged fixture against local rivals Manchester, kick off at 2.15.