National League 1: Bishop's Stortford ease relegation worries with six-try win over leaders Rosslyn Park
Bishop’s Stortford (14) 36 Rosslyn Park (10) 24, National League One
Wingers Joss Linney and Josh Stannard scored two tries apiece as a dominant second-half performance by Bishop's Stortford sealed an unlikely, but well-deserved win against National League One leaders and promotion favourites Rosslyn Park.
The five-point victory in front of a Silver Leys crowd of 510 eases their relegation worries. They now sit ninth in the table, nine points clear of the bottom three, but have played two games more. They are unbeaten in three matches.
Debutant fly half Alfie Orchard was at the heart of much that was good in a tremendous team effort by the home side.
Their narrow 14-10 half-time lead owed much to some dogged defence against confident visitors, who had the bulk of possession, the difference being two conversions by Orchard, as each side scored two tries.
Stortford took the lead after just three minutes with a breakaway try from their own 22. Stannard ran turnover ball down the right wing and found scrum half Sam Bryan inside to run in under the posts.
Two Park tries built on their strong driving pack and scored by Henry Spencer and Benji Marfo gave the visitors a 10-7 lead, but this was overturned right on the break when Linney crashed over through two tackles from a quick penalty.
The home side extended their lead with another Linney try nine minutes into the half, but four minutes later this was narrowed to only two points, at 19-17, by a Park try to Charles Piper from a driving maul.
Playing high-paced rugby, Stortford steadily took control and two tries to Stannard set up by Orchard – the second from a glorious kick pass and run in from the opposition half – sandwiching one by Harry Charter, put them out of sight of the now fairly rattled visitors at 36-17.
Park fought back for a late bonus-point try, again scored by Piper from another driving maul, but had to concede defeat to the better side on the day.
Stortford: Ayrton M, Stannard, Winter (c), Ayrton J, Linney, Orchard, Bryan; Roberts, Caulfield, Brownhill, Charter, Lewis, Apperley, Jones, Banks. Replacements: Rayment, Meek, Knight, Smart, Powell.
Rosslyn Park: Robinson, Marfo, Scott, Cokanasiga, Holland, Leonard, Baldwin; Traynor, Piper, Kearney, Flashman, Spencer, Laventure, Ellis A, Ellis H. Replacements: Garvey, Hay, Martin, Gash, Amadi.
Bishop’s Stortford – Tries: Bryan 3, Linney 39 & 49, Stannard 59 & 70, Charter 66. Cons: Orchard 4, 40 & 71.
Rosslyn Park – Tries: Spencer 15, Marfo 25, Piper 55 & 77. Cons: Leonard 56 & 78.
Referee: Calum Howard. Star man: Oli Jones, Bishop’s Stortford. Attendance: 510