Following two narrow loses against Wilmslow and Penrith, Stockport got their campaign back on track with a very good performance against Broughton Park. With the forwards playing positively and Tom Eaton’s great tactical kicking ensuring territorial advantage for most of the game the exciting runners in the backs were able to take advantage. With 4 tries for a bonus point and Dudley Southern on target with his kicking a convincing 34-12 victory was secured. The coaching of Tom Mantell was very much in evidence as the Stockport forwards exerted real control and patience to set up scoring positions and there could well have been more tries but for some determined defence by Park.
The first score came on 7 minutes, after a good run by full back Rhodri Mayor the ball was worked left and Tom Mantell was driven over for the score, Southern was on target for 7-0. A turnover gave Stockport a penalty in front of the posts and Southern’s kick added 3 more points. Good organisation and control by the forwards set up a position for Mayor to jink in and score under the posts the conversion making it 17-0 on 25 minutes. Stockport kept up the pressure and after a good sequence of patient continuity Tom Eaton’s grubber kick in under the posts allowed Mayor to score his second to leave an easy conversion for Southern and it was 24-0. With a great break by skipper Rory Austin a bonus point before half time looked possible but the Park cover defence just got to him before he crossed the line.
After the break Broughton Park went into the attack and after some pressure scored from a good scrum drive to make it 24-5 on 45 minutes. Stockport regained control and won a series of penalties, Southern converting one from in front of the posts to make it 27-0 as the game went into the final quarter. Despite more pressure in the visitors 22 it looked as if the bonus point try was going to be elusive but a penalty kicked to touch for a line out 10 metres out allowed hooker Andy Broadhurst, whose line out throwing had been accurate all afternoon, to score in a well controlled drive, Southern converted to make it 34-5. As the clock went into the red Broughton Park’s second try was very much a consolation score with an interception by the Park centre who ran in from halfway for a final score of 34-12.
Next week Stockport travel to the Isle of Man to play Douglas.