Park suffer a cup defeat to neighbours Athletic

Frank Daly in action for Stockwood Park against Athletic - pic: Corinne Lovell
Frank Daly in action for Stockwood Park against Athletic - pic: Corinne Lovell

Stockwood Park were beaten by near neighbours Bedford Athletic in the Bedfordshire Cup semi-final on Friday night.

Ten tries saw the visiting side master both the blustery conditions and their opponents for a comprehensive victory.

Park gained a foothold early on and eventually they forced a five metre scrum.

Ath survived this period of pressure but were struggling to make headway against the wind until a series of quick tap penalties built momentum into the game.

Eventually stand in captain for the night James Wallace scored the first try, with James Hawken converting.

Athletic followed this up with a length of the field attack that saw Charlie Darlow, David Simpson, Wallace and eventually Robbie Locke all link up well with Locke finishing the try, Hawken again converting.

From the kick off another direct attack saw Jake Foster make strong ground and this time the try was finished by Sven Meiland.

Driving play from the forwards saw Ben Beagent profit as he dived over from a yard out, Hawken’s fourth conversion of the night made it 28-0 on the half hour mark.

James Wallace crossed for the fifth try on 34 minutes and the sixth try came on the stroke of half time as from a set piece scrum in the middle of the field Bedford spread play wide for Josh Cassell to accelerate away for the final try of the half to make it 38-0 at the break.

Early in the second period charge down near the Stockwood Park line allowed Andy Ince to pick up and dive through the centre of the ruck for the opening score .

However the impetus started to go out of the visitors’ game as they conceded a series of penalties that allowed their hosts to take the initiative.

There was little control on the game at this stage but Stockwood Park were not accurate enough and eventually a poor clearance kick allowed the Athletic back line to run the ball with interest, James Gardner scorching round the defence for a try in the 63rd minute.

Hawken converted to bring up 50 points and four minutes later Josh McCann and David Simpson carried hard into the Stockwood defence and this allowed Matt Trigg to cross at the resultant ruck for the ninth try.

Hawken converted but was unsuccessful with his final attempt of the night once Stockwood Park had again been stretched from side to side across the field of play ending with Sven Meiland’s second try.

Park visit Welwyn in London Two North West this weekend.