A touch of complacency from the Stockport 3's?
Stockport brought back down to earth against a MUCH changed Broughton Park side
Stockport 3rd XV started 2018 with a home game as they returned to league action hosting Broughton Park, a team they had scored 50 points against earlier in the season. With the home side on a 7 game undefeated streak confidence was high, possibly too high going into the game against an opposition who in the previous game had struggled for players but this time brought a cast of thousands.
The game started with an awful scuffed kick off from stand off Keith Warhurst which set the tone for the day really as one Stockport mistake followed another and they were soon 7-0. This seemed to wake up the home side who put together some solid set-plays and phases which eventually saw back row John McPherson crash over after second row Paul Jackson had already gone over only to see his try disallowed by the 'TMO'!! Again Broughton came back to score their 2nd & 3rd tries in quick succession which saw the score 5-17 due to a lack of urgency and a complete lack of tackling however the oppositions 3rd try of the first half spurred the home side into life and relentless pressure on the line saw captain and No.8 Andy English stroll over from close range which took the score to 10-17 but all that hard work was undone when more weak tackling saw the opposition literally walk over underneath the post for a try which saw the half time score at 22-10 to Broughton Park.
A quick and frank exchange of words at half time seemed to stir the home side into life and they were immediately on the rampage in the second half, playing with the intensity and gusto that had seen them into 2nd place in the league and despite conceding an early try they recorded a 3rd score of their own through 2nd row Jai Bagdev which was awarded after another lengthy consultation with the TMO. That score was followed with what was arguably the try of the match that started with a Stockport scrum just outside of their own 22. English broke from the back and rampaged down the right hand side making inroads into the opposition half, he was supported by scrum half James Shallcross who in turn moved the ball onto McPherson who stepped in-field to link up with his backs with the ball quickly moved through the hands of Warhurst then centres Mo Newton and Kyle Chapman before finding wing Tom Mounkley who stepped inside 2 covering defenders to dot the ball down for try reminiscent of the Barbarians. With the score now poised at 20-27 Stockport had their tails up and were hammering the Broughton line but a combination of poor decisions and poor mistakes allowed the away side off the hook despite thinking that that they had scored with a delightful cross field kick from Newton but again the 'TMO' again disallowed the try.
2 late breakaway tries gave the final score a harsh and unfair reflection of what had been a tight encounter however a much changed away side infused with a smattering of youth and pace were fully deserving of their win in a day which also saw shock results for Wilmslow losing to Glossop and Littleborough losing to Heaton Moor which made for interesting reading on the league table and sees Stockport into 3rd, 8 points off top spot.
Next week sees Stockport travel away to Trafford Metrovick and with only 12 points separating 1st & 7th its all to play for in the final stages of the season