Lions Move up to 8th with victory over Wolverhampton
A hard-fought win at Castlecroft gives the Lions their first back-to-back wins of the season
When Stourbridge Lions travelled to Wolverhampton on Saturday they were looking to gain their first away win against a side that had previously won one game this season. After 6 mins it was the away team that scored the first points of the game. A scrum 5m from the line came out to Scott Langdon who powered past 3 defenders to score a try just to the right of the posts and it was successfully converted by Tom Mitchell.
Wolverhampton played a close game and put pressure on the Lions in their 22. Too many penalties lead to a yellow for the Stourbridge second row. Wolverhampton failed to take advantage of Stourbridge’s 1 person deficit and when Charlie Harris returned to the pitch it was still 0-7. Wolverhampton also had a player shown a yellow after he was deemed to purposely stamp on Stourbridge player Will Trimmer’s head resulting in the latter having to leave the pitch for treatment.
25 mins into the game, against the run of play, Richard Pennock made a break in Wolverhampton’s half. A pass to Alex Jones who ran 50m in for a try under the post, followed by another Mitchell conversion, doubled the travelling team’s lead. A half in which Wolverhampton had most of the possession, but failed to convert to points and one where Stourbridge took full advantage when they got the ball. Stourbridge’s defensive wall, one that Trump would be proud of.
The home side started strongly from the off in the 2nd half scoring a try and reducing the points difference to 7. Lions responded and within 5 mins a hit from skipper Cass Brookes, who tackled relentlessly throughout the game, lead to Wolverhampton losing possession and Sam Wilson capitalising by running half the length of the pitch for a try in the corner; 7-19.
With Stourbridge Lions looking good for the win, Wolverhampton found a gap in the Stourbridge defence and scored a try which was unsuccessfully converted. Stourbridge’s lead reduced to 7 and just under 30 mins left to play. 10 mins later, Wolverhampton’s persistence paid off again with another try and again an unsuccessful conversion meaning the points deficit was now down to 2 points. Shortly after, Wolverhampton were awarded a penalty out wide. The kicker, who had previously missed 2 kicks opted to go for goal rather than scrum. A decision that didn’t pay off and meant Stourbridge retained their lead. Just 10 mins later the situation was reversed, however Mitchell successfully converted, increased the lead to 5 points and gave Lions some breathing space with less than 10 mins on the clock. With no further scores, it remained 17-22 on the final whistle.
A big defensive performance, particularly in the first half, and three impressive tries helped ensure Stourbridge won their first back-to-back victories of the season. This moves them up to 8th in the table before they take on the top 2 teams in the next 2 games after a well-earned week off.
Match report and pics by Sian Davies