Stockport 5th XV 10, Buxton 2nd XV 27
BUXTON kept up their impressive run of form with a workmanlike performance away at Stockport.
The hosts fielded an experienced front row, but Buxton’s interface of A Conlin, C Scrimshaw and E Davies had enough guile to gain the upper hand. This steady platform gave the locks and loose forwards scope to ply their trade.
B Boomtown relished the opportunity at blind side to show his silky handling skills. Penetrating runs, supported by man of the match contender D Corthorn, asked serious questions of the home side.
C Chapman, T Austin and skipper Burton weighed in with some excellent rucking skills. The pressure told, and a penalty in front of the posts gave Ritchie the chance to open the scoring.
It was the backline which added to Buxton’s tally. Ritchie and A Morris combined to set up good field position just inside the Stockport half. M Llewellyn gratefully received and set off on a run, sweeping through several defenders to score under the posts. Ritchie converted. But Stockport came back strongly, scoring in the corner.
Barnstorming runs from B Austin, I Sanderson and J Pollitt fixed the home defence.
Strong rucking, followed by a pick-up and drive by T Austin, saw him crash over to score, but Stockport replied with another try of their own to keep them in touch.
After the break, good line-out work on their own ball, and good spoiling, showed how much Buxton’s technique had improved.
The introduction of P Spence, S Lomas and S McKenna added extra pace. B Boomtown seemed to cover every blade of grass.
D Corthorn smashed some big tackles and R Burton kept things on the boil. T Edge was growing in confidence, as was A Morris with some direct running and quick off-loading in the tackle.
E Davies was running riot in the loose, tackling all before him. A Conlin was unlucky not to register after some outstanding quick thinking.
M Llewellyn scored his second try after some fine individual skills, thus earning him the man of the match award.
Buxton were reduced to 14 men after a sin-binning, but filled the gaps with extra effort.
As Buxton marched upfield, they turned the screw. B Austin set-up a ruck 25m from the Stockport line which gave Buxton options.
D Corthorn made the dummy run as Ritchie popped the ball to hooker C Scrimshaw who chose the perfect line to bisect the defence and sprint the required distance to touchdown under the posts for a classic try. Ritchie converted.
On Saturday, Buxton face another stern test at home to Bowden. Training will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm, for all senior teams.