Bishop’s Stortford 17 Plymouth Albion 36

Try celebrations for Matt Crosscombe of Plymouth Albion after he dives over to score during the National League Division One match between Bishop Stortford RFC and Plymouth Albion at Silver Leys, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire on September 16th 2017.  - PHOTO: Gareth Davies/PPAUK

By Tim March at Silver Leys

Bishop’s Stortford came out of the blocks a great deal quicker than the visitors with lock James Apperley putting down a try after just four minutes.

Unbeaten in their first two league games, the Hertfordshire club soon went 10-0 up after Tom Banks added the extras and kicked a penalty.

The Devon club trailed 17-14 at half time, but soon found their form during an impressive second half performance to emerge convincing bonus point winners in their first away victory of the season.

Tries from Eoghan Grace, Tom Hendrickson, George Mills, Matt Shepherd and Matt Crosscombe, and 11 points from the reliable boot of Dan Mugford, secured the win that pushed Albion up to fourth place in the National League One table.

Albion captain Herbie Stupple said: “As soon as we went a score down we were a little bit panicked. When that happened last year we always came back. It’s something we have to change, but when panic sets in it can pass to the rest of the team. We managed to get it right in the second half.”

Head coach Kieran Hallett said: “We knew they’d be decent and they were. They played some very, very good stuff and put us under pressure at times, certainly in the first half. We felt our line speed and physicality weren’t where they needed to be. They were winning the collisions.

“After half time we were much better. Not to concede a single point in the second half is very pleasing and we have come away with a five-point win.”

The victory puts Albion well and truly back on track after their opening day loss to Blackheath. Next weekend Plymouth Albion are back at the Brickfields to play Fylde on Saturday, September 23 (KO 3pm).

The club is holding a ‘celebration of a true Albion legend’ at the game, after former Albion second row Gary Lovell died last Thursday, aged 62.

Plymouth Albion is inviting as many ex-players as possible to come along and raise a glass to Gary. Ex-players who would like to attend can contact the club on info@plymouthalbion.com or tel 01752 565064.

Bishop’s Stortford:

1 Lewis Brunger, 2 Declan Caulfield, 3 Sean Edwards, 4 Jon George, 5 James Apperley, 6 Dan Leo, 7 Baxter Wilson, 8 Steve Ball, 9 Sam Coleman, 10 Tom Banks, 11 Jimmy Rea, 12 Jonny Neville, 13 Sam Winter ©, 14 Ryan Hulter, 15 Nick Hankin

Replacements: 16 Sam James, 17 Tom McCrone, 18 Dave Aldam, 19 Chris Smith, 20 James Lennon

Plymouth Albion: 16 Will Norton, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Daniel Pullinger, 4 Daniel Collier, 5 Ed Holmes, 6 Eoghan Grace, 7 George Mills, 8 Herbie Stupple, 9 Joe Snow, 10 Dan Mugford, 11 Jack Arnott, 12 Harvey Skinner, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 15 Matthew Shepherd

Replacements: 16 Marcus Street, 17 Jack Innard, 18 Daniel Swain, 19 Setareki Raumakita, 20 Cameron Setter

Tries:

Stortford: Apperley, Winter

Albion: Grace, Hendrickson, Mills, Shepherd, Crosscombe.

Penalties:

Stortford – 1

Albion – 1

Conversions:

Stortford – Banks 2

Albion – Mugford 4

Yellows:

Stortford – Apperley, Brunger

Albion – Snow

Man of the match: Matt Crosscombe

Referee Fergus Kirby