Bishops Stortford 0 Tring 7
The 4s went to the other side of the county to play a Stortford side that they beat earlier in the season.
That victory included some great running tries and our team included 2 players returning from university. Tring could not call on those players this week so a monumental team effort was called upon and that is exactly what we got.
The score line suggests an even contest which it was with both sets of forwards tearing into each other from the start. Ash Moss was awesome with ball in hand and an unfortunate BS player tried to tackle him standing up and was run over finishing the BS players afternoon. Gladly the BS player got up and appeared ok.
This set the tone for both sets of forwards and both teams made inroads into the respective defences but neither team could find the finishing touch. Captain Mike Strander carried the ball several times through the Stortford defence and was ably supported by Ben Dumpleton and Ash Moss. Trings final pass kept letting them down and a succession of knock ons ensured the score remained 0-0 at half time.
A brilliant solo run by Tring hooker, Dan Cavendish, from his own 22 again tested the Stortford defence just before half time. The Stortford tackler did enough to stop him and his pass to the excellent Sam Morley did not go to hand.
Whilst Trings back row tackled well around the fringes, the Stortford fly half often made some telling runs and offloads. He looked like he could be the difference between the sides and his kicking out of hand often pinned Tring down in their 22. Tring survived a few scares but must have been disappointed they could not capitalise on the sin binning of 2 BS players, both it seemed for bad language and back chat.
At 0-0 at half time and Stortford with 2 in the bin, Tring fancied their chances. A strong set piece with Andy Yule at prop, making only his 2nd appearance of the season set the tone for the 2nd half. Tring pushed Stortford off the ball but could not assert enough control at the base of the scrum to set up any decent opportunities.
With Tring camped in opposition territory, Stortford often tried to run out or kick and chase. Trings back 3 of Nathan, Sam Morley and Enrico coped well and tackled like Tigers to keep BS at bay.
The introduction of some fresh legs made an immediate impact for Tring with Matt Adams running at the BS defence but again the final ball was lacking. Still Tring piled forward to find the elusive score. Stortford were dogged but tiring and maybe rueing playing with less than 15 players earlier in the match.
In roads from Strander, Ward, Elderton and Dumpleton took Tring closer. Replacement prop, Dean Wixon took the ball 5 yards out after some good work by Tring forwards and he kept pumping his legs with several Stortford defenders hanging off him. A final twist out of another tackler brought Wixon within striking distance and his strength took him over for the vital score with only 7 minutes of the match left. Josh added the conversation and Tring prepared to close out the match which they did without too much bother.
The weather was a significant factor in the score line and torrential rain ensured a close game which Tring probably deserved to win.
In a difficult season for the 4s, this was a much needed boost and to do the double over a strong Stortford side is a good achievement. This was helped by 2 players making their debuts, Nick Mann at scrum half who hasn’t played for 5 years and Gary Woodfine who we got on a Bosman from Stevenage. Well played and welcome to Tring.
Man of the match went to Ash Moss.