Henry Cheeseman’s brace saw Rosslyn Park to a dominant 38-16 win over Bishop’s Stortford at The Rock.
Arthur Ellis and Jack Gash added their names to the scoreboard along with a penalty try as their five-score haul left the Hertfordshire side non-plussed. And the bonus-point win saw Kieran Power’s boys return to the top of the National League 1 table on games lost.
Park got a foothold in the game in the first four minutes, Cheeseman finding the line after Neville Edwards’s break through the middle. But Stortford put themselves on the board five minutes later, an offside leading to Austin Pope’s penalty kick beneath the posts. And the visitor’s kicker doubled his score within two minutes as he kicked from the right on the 22-metre line.
After a competitive 10-minute spell, it was Park’s turn to win a penalty as Craig Holland slotted one for not rolling away on 20 minutes. The fly-half was given another kicking opportunity five minutes later – but grazed the edge of the right post from 30 metres out.
Park got the next big break of the game with five minutes to half time as Ellis kicked, ran and made it to the five-metre line. And the following scrum ended in a penalty try for Power’s men, putting the demons of last week’s Rams game to bed. The third try was secured with two minutes to the break, Cheeseman strolling through a gap to score beneath the posts.
Park had their bonus point three minutes into the restart as Ellis broke away from a maul to find the line.
Stortford worked hard for the next 15 minutes and were rewarded with a try on the hour, Nick Hankin running clear on the left. The home side did not let them gain momentum, though, as Gash leapt onto a loose ball in the corner for the fifth try.
The visitors pushed for a second try – and their fast movement of the ball saw James Freeman sin-binned with five minutes to go. They finished the game with James Apperley going over but Park were already celebrating.
Rosslyn Park Tries: Cheeseman 4, 38, Penalty 34, Ellis 43, Gash 66 Conversions: Holland 5, 39, 44, Leonard 67 Penalties: Holland 20 Sin Bins: Freeman 74
Attendance: 600 Referee: Alan Chandrachud HT: 24-6 Star Man: Jack Gash – Rosslyn Park
Birmingham Moseley 17-22 Chinnor Cambridge 14-23 Richmond Canterbury 19-17 Cinderford Darlington Mowden Park 34-17 Blackheath Old Elthamians 46-18 Rotherham Titans Plymouth Albion 37-31 Hull Ionians Rosslyn Park 38-16 Bishop’s Stortford Sale FC 19-26 Rams
Park return to the top of the table as their bonus-point win put them level on points with Richmond, going top on account of games lost.
Rams keep up the pressure on the London sides, though, remaining one point behind in third.
Chinnor and Darlington Mowden Park jump into third and fourth respectively as the Northern Echo Arena side’s bonus-point draws them level on points.
Blackheath and Cinderford’s losses proved costly as the dropped to fifth and sixth but a losing bonus for the Gloucestershire side puts them two points behind.
Old Elthamians remain in eighth after their crushing Rotherham Titans win.
Plymouth Albion leap-frog Sale and Bishop’s Stortford to ninth, sitting three points clear.
Birmingham Moseley’s losing bonus against Chinnor puts them up to 12th, overtaking Cambridge.
The bottom three of Titans, Hull Ionians and Canterbury remain the same but the Nat 2 North winners gained two bonus points while the Kent side grabbed their first win to sit 10 behind Titans at the bottom.
Park face a long trip to Gloucestershire in their last away game of 2019 against top-six side Cinderford.
The Cindy Dogs suffered a blow to their title hopes as a shock 19-17 loss to Canterbury ended a winning run of four games.
Kieran Power’s boys started the last campaign at the Beavis Memorial Ground with a bonus-point winning 36-29 score line.
Cinderford vs Rosslyn Park, Saturday 14 December, 3pm @ Dockham Road