Stour finish their home campaign in fine style in front of the biggest crowd this season!
By Richard Stanley
Dan Rundle continues his return to form with another hatrick that takes him to 2nd place in the league’s try scoring table and Chris Scott earns a well deserved accolade from DoR Neil Mitchell.
Stour finish their home campaign in fine style in front of the biggest crowd this season! Dan Rundle continues his return to form with another hatrick that takes him to 2nd place in the league’s try scoring table and Chris Scott earns a well deserved accolade from DoR Neil Mitchell.
Already relegated visitors Macclesfield (Macc/Maccy/Maccer) came with some great support and a willingness to enjoy the day that showed in their spirit of play both on and off the field! The first half, in particular, saw some well executed moves that took full advantage of the wind conditions, pinning their hosts inside their own ‘22’.
However, with a relatively strong if somewhat depleted squad, the hosts appeared to have the muscle and firepower needed to secure a 13th win and Bonus Point earned on the half hour mark.
Macc crept in front on the point scoring rights after bringing 2 sets of kit that appeared to clash with Stour’s normal home strip. This forced a reluctant agreement to change into our pink ‘away’ shirts so apologies to the sponsors!
Stour kicked off proceedings, playing against a strong breeze and Macc returned the kick only to see Mark Harrison involved twice in short succession creating some space down the left wing. Dan Rundle did well to take a one handed catch behind him whilst in full mode and on the halfway line. His speed took him past the unsuspecting Maccy D players and Chris Scott converted to make matters 7-0 with just 3 minutes gone.
Stour knocked on the restart but managed to regain possession and then gathered only to lose the ball after a quick tap penalty. Macc put two neat kicks behind the hosts’ defence and in the foray hapless wingman Reece Beddows sustained a knock and was replaced by young Noah Heward. A few moments later, Mark Harrison and Dan Rundle combined in a break out right and Noah Heward was rewarded in his support play by latching on to the final pass for his second try in 2 games when he dotted down out right on 9 minutes.
The score remained unchanged for the next 10 minutes but both sides had their chances including two Joe Heatley breaks and a high final pass to the Macclesfield wing that could not be taken cleanly even with a clear dash to the line! However, on 18 minutes, Stour lost penalty lineout ball and the visitors sent play out to the right where a grateful James Oliver outpaced the home defence to score. Macc were then unfortunate in attack when another wild pass eluded the winger into touch.
Dan Rundle then scored his second try following a masterful break down the middle by Stef Thorpe who considered himself to be a three quarter! Macc then conceded a penalty for a deliberate knock on and the ball ended up with Rundle charging into the back line, splitting the defence and scoring with 28 minutes gone. From the restart, Stour were on the front foot, again after a Macc attack was halted and Luke Veebel picked up a loose ball. Joe Heatley who was released on the half way line supported his direct line of running and the lively scrum half sprinted for glory and, this time, close enough to the posts for Chris Scott to convert.
Macclesfield had the final say of the first half after some elusive running by Sam Broster who seemed to hypnotize the Stourbridge defence, scoring on 33 minutes. Some good work by Nick Cairns, Sam Wilkes and Dan Rundle were then repelled and referee blew for the break at 24-10.
Macc restarted the second half and the hosts soon secured a scrum. The ball was sent out right and Dan Rundle took to his toes in a now trademark sideways run, probing the defence. He soon found a gap, straightened and dashed over where Chris Scott was able to make the conversion for a 31-10 lead. Nick Cairns gathered the kick off and broke free sending play out right. Mark Harrison took the ball at full tilt and outpaced the struggling defence for Stour’s sixth try of the day.
This seemed to galvanize Macclesfield into action, prompting Sam Broster to score his second of the afternoon, once again after some tricky running through a somewhat lackluster defence and making the score 36-15. The Stour response was almost instantaneous when Mark George created havoc with a powerful run and two ‘steps’creating some good space down the middle. After several rucks the ball came out to Chris Scott whose long pass to the right fell square into the arms of Stef Thorpe, ‘goal hanging’ out wide! His stroll in meant another seven points clicked on to scoreboard including Scott’s conversion.
The momentum was now with the home side and further forays were made through Mark Harrison and George Morgan breaks. The latter was rewarded with a penalty (high tackle) and Nick Murphy leapt to take the lineout throw. Murphy was then heavily involved in the recycling process eventually finding Luke Veebel who crashed over for Stour’s 48th point and their last score of the game. This was in spite of some decent territory gained through the boot of Scott and a decent Sam Wilson break. This ended with a high tackle and despite a racking 60 m kick, Stour were unable to secure lineout ball and Stef Thorpe was binned for an alleged high tackle. Macc took advantage of the extra man and eventually got their well-deserved 4-try bonus point through replacement James Cross and converted by Tom Morton.
The game then seemed to slow right down as the final whistle grew closer. Stourbridge did have a decent chance to add some points when a penalty lineout ball went loose inside the visitors’ ‘22’. Replacement Rod Petty was unable to control his dribble and the ball rolled into touch. The game ended with a number of penalties and a free kick against Stour but, eventually, referee Jack Lefeuvre blew for full time.
Next week, Stourbridge travel to the picturesque ground of Wharfedale in this rearranged fixture but being Easter weekend, may be down on numbers to play. Season ending injuries still rule out Chad Thorne, Jack Lea, Sam Montieri and probably Hal Riley. Reece Beddows may also be a doubtful.
My scribbled notes and own style of shorthand and abbreviations led me the think what a culinary flavour this game had, particularly relating to fast food. Particularly noting the visitors’ Defensive qualities as “Maccy D” this led me to ponder matters further! You may be amused to consider some of the other notes I took directly pertaining to Saturday’s game, food and drink. No doubt you can also add your own interpretations and ideas!
JAMIE OLIVER– Macc’s winger
BIG MAC – Stour’s 4th Official, Alan MacCreadie
FILET O’FISH – Sounds strange and an acquired taste - Stour’s antipodean player coach!
WHOPPER – who else other than our DoR?
MEATLOAF SANDWICH – a Herefordshire delicacy, thick cut.
(Nick) MURPHYS – a smooth yet heady brew to wash down your meal, Bab!
CAPTAIN (George) MORGAN’S RUM & COKE
Finish of with a (Alex) MAXWELL HOUSE coffee
Also included is a free children’s’ gift known as a Veebel – the toy that vobbles but doesn’t fall down!