Stoneygate set-up another tilt at the Merit League title with tough victory

Stoneygate take on Hinckley 3rds. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-151221-094207001
Stoneygate take on Hinckley 3rds. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-151221-094207001

Stoneygate finished the year with a comprehensive 33-5 victory at home to Hinckley 3rds on Saturday.

Gate, playing the first-half with a tail wind got off to a great start, scoring almost under the posts within the first couple of minutes with hooker Greg Taylor bulldozing his way over the line from short range. James Keywood added the extras for 7-0.

It didn’t take too long for the home side to again cross the line, this time through Steve Farrow - wandering off his wing in to midfield he gathered a short pass from Luke Sturgess and scored. In doing so, he managed to take three Hinckley players over the line with him.

Gate scored a third before the half-time interval this time through Will Cropper. In a similar move that lead to the opening try, Beech gathered the ball at the back of a scrum and this time Cropper finished off the move himself. Keywood again added the conversion to leave the visitors trailing 19-0 at half-time.

The second-half meant that Hinckley now had the advantage of the wind at their backs. Hinckley’s fly-half was taking full advantage of this and adopted a tactical kicking game, pinning Gate back in to their own 22 on numerous occasions.

From a midfield line-out, Gate fly-half Luke Sturgess found Cropper, who had moved out to the wing, with a beautifully floated pass. Cropper applied the afterburners and arced his run smoothly round the outside of the oncoming defenders, eventually dotting down under the posts.

Alex Vostanis scored the fifth try, racing 95 metres after picking up a dropped pass.

Hinckley did manage a consolation try through a very good display of tight forward play inside the Gate 22,