Stockport character and determination secures hard fought 3-5 victory at Waterloo.
By Mike Atkinson
After a very even first quarter, Stockport dominated possession and territory until the last 10 minutes, when they showed real character to hold out against some very determined pressure by the home side.
Stockport travelled to Blundell Sands to play Waterloo, who they have not beaten for 3 years and after a very hard fought game secured a 3-5 victory to go back to second in the table. After a very even first quarter, Stockport dominated possession and territory until the last 10 minutes, when they showed real character to hold out against some very determined pressure by the home side. Both sides created chances they did not convert, both had difficulty securing their own line out and both defended well. While Stockport dominated the territory, Waterloo proved very effective on the break, the scoreline was certainly a reflection of how close the sides were.
After defending a Waterloo line out 5 metres from their own line and a 50 metre clearance by Tom Eaton, Stockport mounted a good attack, with runs by Kieran Hibbs, Rory Austin and Simon Green but a penalty was conceded in the Waterloo 22. Stockport took two scrums against the head and had a good 20 metre drive from a line out but again a penalty was conceded. Finally Stockport secured a kickable penalty but opted for the line out and another throw in went astray. An attack of some 10 phases got Stockport over the Waterloo line but the referee judged there had been a knock on. Waterloo finished the half strongly but the Stockport defence held out and were able to clear and the half ended without any score.
There was a good early run out defence by Simon Currie, who later suffered a head injury and had to leave the field. Waterloo attacked after charging down a kick but Kieran Hibbs secured a vital turnover to end the danger. Waterloo attacked agin and after 6 minutes of the half worked a position for their No 10 to drop a goal and the home side were 3-0 up. A good Stockport attack ended in touch 5 metres out from the Waterloo line but Kieran Hibbs stole the line out and the drive took prop Matt Lawrowitz over for a try to give Stockport a 3-5 lead after 50 minutes. Stockport continued to dominate but the Waterloo 10 spotted his left wing clear and put in a kick that the wing was able to take without breaking stride, he made 45 metres and looked to be going in but Stockport full back Rhodri Mayor was able to do just enough to stop him and allow the cover to get back. Waterloo attacked again and after a long pass sent the ball wide left they seemed to have got over but the referee spotted a Stockport player had prevented the grounding and with two minutes to go Stockport were still ahead. A final Waterloo attack was ended as replacement lock James Shaw stripped the ball the clearance gave Waterloo a line out on the 22 and their 10 tried another drop goal which went wide just before the final whistle.
With Douglas IOM losing at home to Northwich, Stockport are now in second place but the division remains highly competitive with only 9 points between second and 10th.
Next week Stockport are at home to bottom club De La Salle, kick off is at 2.15