P&S welcomed Seghill to Stocksfield determined to finish the season strongly and leapfrog the visitors in the final standings. The home side welcomed Ryan Chamberlain into the front row with the versatile, Archer, Bradshaw and Reid combining in the back row. Danny Whiley started at 12 with Nathan Moore and Marcus Sewell providing pace out wide.
The first 20 minutes provided a wake-up call to P&S as the visitors displayed an enterprising start scoring 21 unanswered points. The impressive visiting 10 was allowed too much time to dictate play and scored two tries himself as P&S gave themselves a mountain to climb.
Having regrouped under the posts, P&S started to play with a structure that has been successful throughout the season, utilising strong forward runners, creating space for the quick outside backs to exploit. From a break by Steven Henderson, Ben Archer drove the ball on and created an opportunity that Ryan Chamberlain grasped as he bulldozed his way to the line. 7-21.
That try had the desired effect on P&S who upped the tempo and improved the clear out at the breakdown. This enabled quicker ball to be available, exploiting an often out of position defence. With Luke Masters and Daniel Whiley making big metres every time, P&S played on the front foot as William Foster had the whole blindside to himself to easily touchdown. 12-21.
Knowing that everybody had plenty more to give, Coach Russell gave the team the encouragement to play with confidence and pace which had been lacking in the first half. From a loose ball, the impressive James Bradshaw hacked on and won the footrace to score under the posts. The kick off was then claimed confidently and P&S started another attack up field. Forwards started to interlink with the backline and it was no surprise that Brogan Millar popped up in midfield to step the fullback and score a great team try that had been built from our own half. 24-21.
With the visitors losing a player to the sin bin and their defence starting to tire, P&S powered up the hill again and scored a couple of tries to extend their lead. Firstly, Chris Patterson took advantage of a series of powerful forward carries to dummy his way to the try line before a well worked scrum move involving Ben Archer and Danny Whiley again saw the scrum half score.
Defence seemed to be on the back burner for both sides as a number of tries were ran in bringing the score to 41-36 with only 5 minutes to play. James Bradshaw scored his second of the day finishing off a flowing move that Marcus Sewell instigated with a scything run through midfield but Seghill countered with some close-range efforts of their own. The game was wrapped up however, when Seghill, attempting to steal victory, threw an interception pass, allowing P&S to secure an end of season victory.
With Seghill gaining two losing bonus points, victory wasn’t enough to overtake them in the league, however, a lot of heart can be taken from not only the second half performance but from the form post-Christmas which has seen P&S run the top teams very close.