Stockport win 11 try local derby against Manchester
By Mike Atkinson
With 5 tries for Stockport and 6 for Manchester it was the goal kicking of Stockport 10 Liam McGovern that made the difference on the scoreboard as Stockport finished 42-34 winners.
Stockport hosted local rivals Manchester at Headlands Road for what proved to be a hard fought local derby. Stockport scored two early tries, while Manchester finished strongly. With 5 tries for Stockport and 6 for Manchester it was the goal kicking of Stockport 10 Liam McGovern that made the difference on the scoreboard as Stockport finished 42-34 winners. It was a good game with both teams playing some good attacking rugby and having to defend well. Manchester were ahead on possession and territory, playing an offloading game and counter rucking effectively, while Stockport made some exciting line breaks with Simon Green setting up one scoring position and going 50 metres for his own try. Tom Eaton kicked very effectively from hand, while McGovern was accurate from the kicking tee.
There was an early try after only 3 minutes, scrum half Rory Austin made a break from a ruck, getting close to the Manchester line and the ball was recycled to give flanker Dan Brotherton an easy run in. McGovern converted for 7-0. Just 7 minutes later there was another converted try as a well organised and very fast drive by the Stockport forwards took the ball 20 metres from a line out for skipper Kieran Hibbs to touch down the first of his two tries. 14-0. Manchester replied quickly as the ball was moved from a line out and a good off load allowed their No 13 to go in under the posts for 14-7. Stockport converted an easy penalty for offside and it was 17-7 after the first quarter. Manchester replied as they recycled 3 times from a line out and scored their second converted try to make it a close game at 17-14 after 35 minutes. Kieran Hibbs got his second as another good drive by the Stockport forwards took them over the line for 24-14. Tom Eaton made an excellent break to set up a good attacking position but Manchester conceded a penalty and McGovern made it 27-14. As the half went into injury time Simon Green got the ball on his own 10 metre line and broke the Manchester tackles and made ground into the visitors 22, Rhodri Mayor was on hand to get the ball out to Greg Newton for the wing to score. There was no conversion but the bonus point was secure and there was a 32-14 lead at half-time.
Manchester scored very early in the second half, with a good attack, which made the most of some missed tackles with no conversion it was 32-19. Stockport replied immediately as Simon Green won a line out on half way and the Manchester line parted to let him through and his 50 run beat all the Manchester defenders and allowed an easy conversion for 39-19 on 50 minutes. Manchester dominated much of the remaining time, and the Stockport defence was tested time and time again, the visitors scored from a scrum after Stockport had held them up over the line 39-24. As the game went into the final quarter McGovern was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on as Manchester mounted anther attack, they opted for a scrum and Stockport got a turnover that allowed them to clear. Two very good touch kicks by Eaton put Manchester back in their 22 and as the visitors tried to run out their No 8 was penalised for going into a tackle with his forearm raised. McGovern converted for 42-24. It was the visitors who finished strongly with two unconverted tries in the final 10 minutes. The missed conversions depriving them of a second bonus point.
Next week Stockport are away at Firwood Waterloo, which will be another tough test