Stockport complete a comprehensive 40-17 victory away at Anselmians
By Mike Atkinson
Getting off to a great start Stockport had two converted tries after only 6 minutes and a try bonus point in the bag after 30 minutes and Anselmians never looked like catching up.
Stockport completed a comprehensive 40-17 victory away at Anselmians to stay in 3rd place in the table. Getting off to a great start Stockport had two converted tries after only 6 minutes and a try bonus point in the bag after 30 minutes and Anselmians never looked like catching up. However it was the home side that dominated the second half but Stockport added a 6th try to ensure the gap was maintained. The first half performance was excellent with good handling, pace and accuracy, along with some great individual efforts, most notable the 50 metre run by Simon Green for the second try. It took 11 minutes for Anselmians to get a touch of the ball and the first scrum came after 22 minutes. As in the game at Headlands Road earlier in the season Anselmians came out a different side in the second half and some strong running and good handling had them putting real pressure on Stockport, who were denied possession for much of the second period, having lost Green and Jordan Pearson to injuries.
Scrum half Dudley Southern made a good break and his kick ahead gave Stockport a line out, the drive resulted in a try for hooker Andy Broadhurst after only 2 minutes, Southern converted. Only 4 minutes later Green got the ball on halfway after some good phases by Stockport and the Number 8 beat all the Anselmian defenders to run 50 metres and score, the conversion was easy for Southern and a 14 point lead was established. Despite creating several chances it was some 15 minutes before Stockport scored again, Rhodri Mayor touching down after a long pass by Tom Eaton at 10, after some good approach work by the forwards, Southern was on target to make it 0-21. Kieran Hibbs intercepted a pass and set off with 70 metres to go to the line but the Anselmian defence managed to catch him 15 metres out. A penalty was conceded as Stockport pressured the line and a quick tap allowed the home scrum half to run clear, an excellent tackle by Mayor on halfway prevented what could have been a try. On 30 minutes lock Marc Benson found himself on the wing and receiving the ball he outpaced the defence to go 40 metres and score the bonus point try, with no conversion it was 0-26. On the stroke of half time Mayor ran out of defence, some good handling worked the ball to centre Rory Austin and his run and pass gave Southern a 30 metre run in for the 5th try, Southern added the 2 points and it was 0-33 at half time.
Anselmians started the second half strongly and pressure resulted in a try for them after 55 minutes for 5-33. With Anselmians playing with purpose and momentum it took a clearance from Richard Sackville-West to get Stockport into the home half. A penalty set up a line out and the Stockport drive was well controlled for Callum Hibbs to get the touch down, Southern’s convesion took Stockport to 40 points with 10 minutes to go. Anselmians dominated the final 10 minutes and despite try saving tackles by Broadhurst and Austin the home side added two tries and a conversion to make the final score 17-33.
Next week is a home fixture against Warrington, kick off at 2.15