A game of 2 halves see Stockport take the spoils
Pinball carnage in the midfield
Stockport 3’s hosted local rivals Burnage 3’s in a league and Cup double header with both teams having been drawn together in the first round of the cup. With captain Kyle Chapman away, No.8 Andy English took the armband which was no easy task given the amount of withdrawals both before and during the game. Prior to kick off it soon became apparent that our chosen No.9 had decided to have the afternoon off causing a reshuffle in the pack with flanker Tom Mounkley pressed into action at scrum half and newcomer Dave Astley slotting into the back row. Further chaos ensued when centre Gus Parkhouse pulled up in the warm up (I keep telling you warm ups are irrelevant and dangerous) however at this point a sun-kissed Dave Holehouse turned up and promptly slotted into the centres despite being told he was only needed for a light 20 minute run out after Ed had told him we had a cast of thousands!!!
With Stockport playing up the slope, they were soon into their stride with Holehouse and full back Joe Mwangi making huge inroads which led to immense pressure resulting in 2 penalties for Mwangi and deserved 6-0 lead. Stockport then managed to lose centre Si Bollington who managed to headbutt the elbow of flanker John McPherson and promptly left for stitches. As a punishment, McPherson was moved into the centre to replace him but this changed nothing as Burnage he had not even had a look in when the ball was again moved across the pitch who saw wing Oye Oyuwumi cross for a try converted by Mwangi giving the home side a 13-0 lead. Burnage eventually got back into the game and onto the scoresheet with a penalty of their own followed by an unconverted try after weak tackling. Things went from bad to worse as despite Stockport’s dominance, Burnage went over from a line out which was converted giving them an unbelievable 15-13 half time lead.
The second half started badly for the home side as Burnage continued where they had left off and were soon registering their second try of the afternoon from a line out although the attempted conversion was brilliantly charged down by Mwangi. With a 20-13 lead, Burnage had the opportunity to extend this with a penalty however this was pulled wide and seemed to breath life back into the home team despite Oyuwumi now spending 10 mins in the sin bin for a high tackle. Stockport held on and began to attack back firstly through the impressive Mwangi who cut a great line to score under the post, a try which he converted himself. Despite the fact that fly half Keith Warhurst managed to not once but twice run into his own players attempting backs moves, Stockport still came forward and a well worked line out move saw captain English bulldoze his way over to take the score to 25-20 in favour of the home side. With the forwards now having complete dominance, the final score went to Oyuwumi who redeemed himself from his yellow card as he skated over scoring Stockport’s 4th try of the afternoon and securing the win.
Special mention to wing Ian Pownall playing his first game of rugby and the forwards en-masse who finished with 5 front row forwards in various pack positions.