After victory in the Presidents Cup semi-final last weekend, Stoneygate returned to league action away against Melton 2nds with a 15-5 win.
From the kick-off to the final whistle the match was dominated by the forwards on both sides. Melton used the tried and tested ‘tuck it up the jumper’ tactic throughout the match while Gate attempted to use their pace out wide. However it was the forwards who were the busier on the day.
The first-half was a slow scrappy affair. Stoneygate had a number of chances to score but handling and passing errors thwarted their efforts. For all Stoneygate’s efforts, the only points of the half came from a penalty kick.
For a period during the first-half, Melton’s forwards marched their way up the field deep into the Gate half. A number of penalties against the away side put significant pressure on the Gate pack. The persistent forwards play saw the home side awarded with a penalty try leaving the score 5-3 at half-time.
The second-half saw Stoneygate come out with a new lease of life, especially in the pack. The renewed Stoneygate eight allowed a solid platform for the backs to do their job.
The Melton backs couldn’t handle the pace of the Gate wingers and after numerous spoilt chances, winger James Keywood broke the second-half deadlock to score.
Well into the second period and with Gate in control the game winning try came from hooker Richard Deacon. After a line-out win, the Gate pack marched forward, the ball was fired out to the backs and Deacon was on hand to charge the ball over the line. Ben Aspell had the last score of the game with the conversion.
That is how it was to stay for the final 15 minutes, Melton again tried to march on using forwards ball, but Stoneygate from one to 15 defended manfully and held out for the win.