10:47am Thursday 6th February 2014
SUPERB Stourbridge exorcised the ghost of Sedgley Park past with a stunning display in Lancashire to secure a sensational 45-3 success.
This was a match which had been long identified as one of the defining games of the season.
Stourbridge knew that nothing less than a win would do, while Sedgley Park desperately required the points themselves to keep their faltering promotion charge on track.
But in truth, Park had no answer to the pace, power and commitment that was unleashed upon them by Stour.
Flanker Eji Uzoigwe got the ball rolling for Stourbridge after Robbie Hurrell, returning to Stour’s second row, stole a line-out ball before Uzoigwe got on the back of the resulting driving maul to secure a trademark try.
Prop Mark George powered over for a second try before Uzoigwe struck again, this time crashing over from a short-range scrum.
Park had been denied any semblance of possession and their task became even tougher when their fly-half Collins was yellow-carded for killing the ball.
Stour kicked the resulting penalty into the corner, Hurrell took a fine catch and hooker Scott Wright was driven over.
Park finally got some possession which resulted with centre Riley kicking a monster 55 metre penalty to make the half time score 24-3.
Winger Nathan Bressington was next to score, collecting an aimless crossfield kick by Park, chipping the advancing defence before winning the race to touch down.
Park full-back Wainwright was next to experience the sin bin and Stour took advantage, with second-half replacement Drew Harper driving over from the base of a ruck.
As conditions deteriorated, Stour still weren’t finished. Scrum-half Pete White stole possession from the base of a scrum and almost put Bressington over in the corner, but was instead bundled into touch.
However, Park failed to clear their lines from the following set-piece and conceded a penalty try for dragging down the scrum.
Winger Jamie Hearn converted all three second-half tries having landed two in the first half.
Delighted Stourbridge boss Neil Mitchell admitted: “ I couldn’t be happier. It was a complete performance, there was a real passion about everything we did. This was one of the best displays I’ve seen in my 10 years as director of rugby and it sends out a big statement.
“It’s been six years since Sedgley Park failed to score a try in a game at home, but I sensed something special was about to happen. I looked back on the coach journey home and every one of the players was asleep. That’s how much effort they put into the game!”
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