Despite forward dominance Stockport narrowly lose away 28-24 to Northwich
Some good driving play provided many chances to score but Stockport were judged to have been held up over the line on 4 occasions. Northwich get 3 lucky tries to secure win.
Stockport travelled to Northwich to meet the second placed side for what turned out to be a close game as the home team beat Stockport 28-24. Stockport started well and it was soon clear that they could dominate the forward battle. Some good driving play provided many chances to score but Stockport were judged to have been held up over the line on 4 occasions. This combined with a couple of errors that gifted tries to Northwich and an outrageous offside that gave the home side their 3rd try meant that Stockport only came away with a losing bonus point.
A good start by Stockport put early pressure on the Northwich line and within 5 minutes Jordan Pearson scored after good control of a 5m scrum and Liam McGovern put the conversion over for 0-7. Northwich replied immediately as a cross kick following a line out was not dealt with by the Stockport defence and the home No 8 followed up to scare, the conversion made it 7-7 after only 10 minutes. A 25 metre drive from a line out gave Stockport a chance to score but after several goes at the line a loose pass went to ground, but McGovern picked up and jinked through the defence to score under the posts, he added the conversion for 7-14 after 15 minutes. Stockport were soon back in the home 22 and a yellow card for one of the Northwich forwards gave Stockport an advantage. There were several goes at the line but eventually Northwich got a turnover and a break took them clear, only a last ditch tackle by centre Josh Schofield prevented a score. Northwich kept up the pressure but as Stockport got a turnover their pass went to ground behind their try line and it was Northwich who got the touch down to level the scores at 14-14 after 32 minutes. Then just before half time a Northwich player, who was clearly 15 metres offside was allowed to hack the ball on and as he followed up was awarded a try despite appearing to have knocked on as he picked the ball up. This gave the home team a 21-14 lead at the break.
Stockport started the second half well with more pressure on the Northwich line, eventually a penalty as a home tackler did not roll away gave Stockport a line out and the solid drive gave lock Dan Brotherton a try McGovern was again on target for 21-21. after 50 minutes. Again Northwich replied quickly with their best try of the game as their No 13 had little difficulty beating the Stockport tacklers to go in for a converted try for a 28-21 lead. Stockport were close to scoring several times in the last quarter but ended up with just a penalty in front of the posts for McGovern to make it 28-24 at the final whistle.
Next week is the final home game, against local rivals Burgage. Kick off is at 3.00pm.