Stay­ing pos­i­tive

Stockport Times West - - SPORT -

STOCK­PORT lost their third straight game of the sea­son, a 28-9 de­feat by Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull.

But it was a much im­proved per­for­mance by Stock­port who were un­lucky to be 7-6 down at half-time.

The Bees added to David Evans’ first-half try with touch­downs from Alexan­der O’Mal­ley, Steven Leach and Chris Car­lin to cap off a frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon for the vis­i­tors.

“It’s the same old story. We need to be con­sis­tent in what we are do­ing. Key words I would use would be crit­i­cal mo­ments which we are los­ing,” said coach Matthew Bebbington.

“There were lots of pos­i­tives. We kept pos­ses­sion, we had ter­ri­tory and we had chances to score. It’s easy to talk about the nega­tives, but the big­gest thing from the first game of the sea­son till now is that we’ve im­proved 50-60 per cent.”

Stock­port went into this game des­per­ate to kick­start their sea­son after two heavy de­feats against Ampthill and Sed­g­ley Park and you could tell they were re­main­ing pos­i­tive after they had the bet­ter of the early ex­changes. The con­sis­tent Josh Long­more si­lenced the home sup­port­ers after he kicked two penal­ties to give Stock­port a 6-0 lead after 27 min­utes.

Stock­port were show­ing a much tighter de­fence and were sack­ing the ball well with the pack putting in a great shift, win­ning nu­mer­ous scrums.

But then the home crowd had some­thing to cheer about. Evans pounced on a loose ball after Stock­port were well tack­led and prof­ited from the vis­i­tors’ mis­take to go over. Fly-half Adam Can­ning con­verted to give the hosts the ad­van­tage.

After the break, Stock­port con­tin­ued to show great character, but couldn’t find an end prod­uct as it was dif­fi­cult to break down the Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull de­fence.

How­ever, as Bebbington said, it was the same old story for Stock­port as another er­ror lead to Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull’s sec­ond try.

O’Mal­ley took ad­van­tage of a loose ball at the scrum and crossed over from 10 me­tres out. Can­ning’s ex­tras stretched the lead to 14-6.

Stock­port weren’t go­ing to lie down eas­ily. Re­place­ment prop Oliver Long­more, along with Alis­tair Green and El­liot Fletcher, made good line breaks to move ‘Port up field and they were even­tu­ally awarded a penalty.

The boot of Josh Long­more then re­duced the gap to five points.

But straight from the kick-off Stock­port were pinned back and the game was over in the space of five min­utes as Steven Leach and Chris Car­lin scored – both con­verted by Can­ning.

The hosts ended the game with 14 men when scrum-half Jack Jolly was sin binned for per­sis­tent feed­ing at the scrum.

“Ob­vi­ously after the game ev­ery­one’s dis­ap­pointed but the cul­ture is right in the team. You can tell there is no fault in the ef­fort,” added Bebbington. “From the first game to this game we’ve im­proved and we just need to im­prove fur­ther.”

Chris Bull

Stock­port’s Alis­tair Green im­pressed dur­ing their de­feat at Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.