Stoneygate started the season by travelling to Belgrave for the first match of the 2017/18 campaign. Belgrave traditionally field a great front eight and are tough to break down all over the park. In recent years this has been a close fixture with little between the teams.
The new season has bought some young faces to the Club which has meant for a great pre-season and some real selection headaches going in to the first game. The early proceedings saw Gate dominate the opposition going 14-0 up after just five minutes. James Bromwich scored his first try for the Club on his debut and new 1st XV skipper Will Cropper also crossed early on. Fly-half Jack Clark returning to the Gate shirt after a season away with his studies kicked both conversions.
The visitors continued to dominate proceedings all over the park throughout the first-half. Particularly impressive was the work at the line-outs with Gate’s locks stealing Belgrave ball repeatedly. The teamwork at the breakdown was also providing a great platform for the Stoneygate backs who ran scintillating lines though the Belgrave defence. Further first-half tries from Gate include; Phil Beech with two, Luke Sturgess and Jack Clark. Beech’s second try was particularly well worked team effort as he crashed over the line supported by Ed Dodd and Mike Boyd after multiple phases. Half-time score Stoneygate 40-5 Belgrave.
The second-half continued much like the first had left off, with Gate running in tries all over the place. Two from Adam Smith and a second for Jack Clark saw the game well and truly out of sight for Belgrave with just the final score to be decided. Clark’s second try was a fantastic solo effort after the young fly-half kicked the ball into the empty back field, chased it down, hacked it on and dotted down under the posts. One to hang your hat on…
The home side did score their second of the match in what was a very well worked move resulting in their winger crossing in the corner, the conversion was missed from the touchline on what was a very tricky day for kicking in windy conditions.
Coming off the bench for his debut, Guy Jones scored two late tries for Gate with Tom Cole rounding off the day with one of his own to make the final score 76-10 to the visitors. Jack Clark with two tries and eight conversions gave him a tally of 26 points for the day. A great effort from the whole squad for the first match of the season.
There is no match this coming weekend (16th September). Stoneygate return to Uppingham for their first home match of the season on 23rd September against Aylestone Athletic, kick-off 3pm.