Bonus in loss for Stock­port

Stockport Express - - Sport - ADM PREMIER BIRKENHEAD PARK ..... 31 STOCK­PORT ................... 28 MIKE ATKIN­SON

STOCK­PORT trav­elled to the Wir­ral to face close ri­vals Birkenhead Park in what proved to be a close, hard fought game.

With the home side dom­i­nat­ing pos­ses­sion for much of the game and Stock­port prone to turnover pos­ses­sion in the tackle and an in­ac­cu­rate li­ne­out, se­cur­ing a los­ing bonus point and be­ing only three points be­hind was ar­guably a good out­come.

Back row Dan Brother­ton scored an ex­cel­lent in­di­vid­ual try, which must be in for try of the sea­son as he ran over 50 me­tres to out­flank the Park de­fence for Stock­port’s sec­ond try.

With three tries, two con­ver­sions and three penal­ties to four con­verted tries and a drop goal for the home side, the fi­nal score was 31-28 to Birkenhead Park.

Park were on the score­board af­ter only two min­utes as they built from halfway and, with good run­ning, out­flanked the Stock­port de­fence for the wing to score a try that was duly con­verted.

It took only five min­utes for Stock­port to re­ply as a line out five me­tres out, fol­low­ing a penalty, was driven well and the ball went blind for lock Dean Schofield to score.

Liam McGovern con­verted for 7-7.

A high tackle gave Stock­port an­other three points be­fore some good tack­ling by the vis­i­tors kept out the strong run­ning Park backs.

Si­mon Green, play­ing at cen­tre, made a great run into the Birkenhead 22 and the home side con­ceded an­other penalty for not re­leas­ing in the tackle. McGovern was on tar­get again to make it 7-13.

A penalty gave Park line out po­si­tion and their pa­tient re­cy­cling over­came de­ter­mined Stock­port de­fence to score un­der the posts to take them back into the lead at 14-13.

More good de­fence kept Birkenhead at bay un­til just be­fore the break, when a Stock­port clear­ance kick was fielded by the home full back on his 22 and his run through some poor tack­les al­lowed him to off­load for his right wing to score and make it 21-13 at the break.

Ten min­utes into the sec­ond half Brother­ton took a pass on his own 10 me­tre line and burst through the Park line, find­ing him­self in space he then kept go­ing to out pace the Birkenhead de­fend­ers.

This was a great try and will take some beat­ing as an in­di­vid­ual ef­fort. McGovern con­verted and Stock­port were within a point at 21-20.

Park at­tacked again, but just missed out as their right wing seemed to have scored.

The Stock­port line out was not straight and at the scrum the Park No 8 picked up and went over on the blind side to put them 28-20 up as the game went in to the fi­nal quar­ter.

McGovern added an­other penalty be­fore the home prop was yel­low carded.

Some good de­fence by Stock­port kept Park out un­til a sur­prise drop goal took the home side clear by eight points.

Stock­port were not fin­ished, go­ing through many phases be­fore the ball found its way out to sub­sti­tute back row Cal­lum Hibbs on the left and he was able to make 25 me­tres to touch down wide out.

The con­ver­sion hit the post but Stock­port had done enough to se­cure the los­ing bonus point at 31-28.

Next week is the twice post­poned fix­ture against Dou­glas IOM at Head­lands Road, kick off is at 1.30pm

Jack­son Davies

●●Scrum half Rory Austin break­ing through the Park de­fence

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