Ed Hawkins inspires Stowmarket to victory
London 3 North - Stowmarket 21 Wanstead 7
LED by their inspirational captain and man-of-the-match, Ed Hawkins, Stowmarket demonstrated the old adage that forwards win games and backs by how much.
Wanstead kicked off the game only two points behind the home team, and very much in contention for a possible promotion play-off spot.
With the wind in their favour, the visitors took the game to Stowmarket and for most of the first-half were the better team.
Dominating the scrums and managing to control most breakdowns to the point where Stowmarket were living off scraps, it was Wanstead who opened the scoring with a converted try to lead 7-0.
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At half-time, Stowmarket had failed to register any points at all and looked as if they would continue to struggle in the second half, unless they could not only secure more ball, but also look after it better.
Despite the wind now in the hosts’ favour, the pattern of play remained very much as in the first half with Wanstead enjoying the majority of possession.
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However, everything changed following some very good work by the forwards at which point second row Nick Kegge released Dan Garrad with a well-executed inside pass to score under the posts. Tom Searles added the extras.
Stowmarket struck next when, following a rather scrappy passage of play, fly half Pete Baird kicked through and winger, Jermaine Watson managed to apply downwards pressure on the ball in the in-goal area. That gave Tom Searles another easy conversion.
The final try of the game was scored by Stowmarket when they managed to get the ball out wide and young Dan Garrard scooted over to score behind the posts.
Searles maintained his 100 per cent kicking record for the day.
With this hard-fought victory in London 3 North, gritty Stowmarket showed their resolve to gain promotion for the second season in succession remains as strong as ever.