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3rd XV - Match centre

Stockport 3
Burnage 3
Sat 10 Feb 14:15 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 4 East Full time

Another loss for Stockport 3's in 2018

Did you know it is possible to score an own try???

Stockport 3's suffered yet another loss for 2018 and have yet to reclaim their winning way from the first half of the season up against Burnage 3's /2's /1's who travelled to Headlands Road. The game was played on something resembling a cross between a paddy field and the Battle of the Somme with various external variables having impacts on the game.

Stockport fielded a strong starting team as well as strength on the bench and made the brighter start with 2 strong carries from captain Andy English and old stalwart prop Derrick Spencer who couldn't believe the space he found himself in and immediately went to ground awaiting the safety of his fellow pack members. Burnage scrambled to clear their lines and with the assistance of hooker Steve McNicholls managing to concede 3 penalties in the same phase of play (his words not mine) it soon became clear that it was going to be 10-man rugby for them based largely on their pack's ability to maul and the excellent tactical kicking of their fly half Ryan Magee. Burnage were soon laying siege to the Stockport line but fierce defence manage to repel them and soon Stockport were back onto the attack with a chance out wide for wing Oye Oyewumi to chase through on a kick but he just missed out as the ball beat him to the line. With the half coming to a close, Burnage again turned to their maul but persistent and dogged defence meant Stockport held on until a penalty allowed Magee to kick giving Burnage a 3-0 half time lead.

Half time saw an interesting exchange between captain English and team manager Ed Weeks which saw Weeks return to the touchline and spend the 2nd half trying to pick up all the toys he had just thrown out of his pram!!!

Onto the second half and this time it was Stockport's turn to hammer at the try line but try as they might they couldn't turn any pressure into points and eventually Burnage managed to claw themselves away and soon saw Magee kicking another penalty to make it 6-0. Magee then thought he had scored after chasing his own kick but this was disallowed giving Stockport the opportunity to try and seek a match winning score. Poacher then turned gamekeeper as Weeks then decided to sub off 2nd row Paul Jackson who in turn decided he also fancied throwing a few toys, much to the incredulity of Weeks who had clearly forgot about his tantrum some 20 minutes earlier. Its fair to say the touchline was now resembling a Toys R Us discount sale!!!

A rampaging run from English saw the Burnage full back (who had been high shotting everyone all game including his own players) attempt to make the big hit but the only thing bit about it was his landing as he returned from outer space with umpteen Tweety Birds circling overhead. Now camped on their own line but with a scrum, a momentary lapse of concentration saw fly half Keith Warhurst drop the ball backwards over his own try line which he then proceeded to ground, assuming Burnage would be awarded a scrum. A Burnage player decided to dive onto the ball and cheer which amazingly saw the referee's arm go up to award the try, despite the ball being grounded first by a Stockport hand. An easy conversion from the metronomic boot of Magee saw 6-0 become 13-0 and whilst Burnage fully deserved their victory, the final score and decision left a sour taste in the mouth of the home team who had battled valiantly against a team that clearly had higher level players involved.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Littleborough 3 22 77
2. Glossop 3 22 65
3. Wilmslow 3 22 63
4. Heaton Moor 2 22 62
5. Stockport 3 22 56
6. Hope Valley 1 22 55
7. Ashton on Mersey 1 22 54

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