MIKE ATKIN­SON

Stockport Express - - Sport -

STOCK­PORT’S char­ac­ter and de­ter­mi­na­tion se­cured a hard fought 3-5 vic­tory at Water­loo on Satur­day.

They trav­elled to Blun­dell Sands to face a side they have not beaten for three years and af­ter a very hard fought game picked up the re­sult they needed to re­turn to sec­ond spot 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 five 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

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