Stockton came back from being 16 points behind at Novos to claim a losing bonus point when they lost by the odd point in 49.Tries came from winger Steve Bartliff and fly half Stephen Jones one of which was converted by Jonny Horner and four penalties came from the boot of Stephen Jones . Perhaps with better decision making and adaptation of their play to the wet conditions it was a game that was winnable . But, as Nelson Mandela's Chirpodist used to say " There's nothing wrong with defeat" - as long as we learn from it . At least we got a losing bonus point for our trouble !
Meanwhile at Grangefield our Saracens blew away a hefty Bishop Auckland 2nds outfit in the second half . Bishop were still in the game when Stockton only led 26-17 at half time after tries from fly half Reece Cowley( 50 metre dash) , Ben Costello ( an interception-and 60 metre dash) , blind side Connor Dodgson and fellow flanker Jack Johnsone . Jeremy Good had converted three. Bishop's heavy pack had forced two converted tries ( one a pushover) plus a penalty.
In the second half it was one way traffic as plucky Bishop, led by Paul Brookes who had a spell with us some years ago, ran out of steam. Connor Dodgson crossed for his second, replacement scrum half Josh Barker Rayner, Prop Josh Yellow, No.8 Devon Douthwaite (who managed a brace) and Skipper Si Crozier also went over the whitewash. With Jeremy converting three in the second half the final score when Ref Colin Davidson blew for full time was 62-17 and again full CANDY league bonus points were claimed. Man of the Match was teenage flanker Jack Johnsone .
Meanwhile the Stocktonians first foray of the season was at Blackwell Meadows against Darlington 2nds who have rejoined the Tees Valley Social League. After being 17-0 down at half time they settled and won the second half 7-5 when winger Colin Waller went over and Jack Gaddas added a touchline conversion to make the score 22-7 .The squad had good numbers too for the start of a season. Versatile Jay Jackson, playing at blind side flanker was man of the match .
Next week 15/9 our 1st XV host Westoe , Saracens are away at Hartlepool OB ( TS24 9BA) with an early 2pm KO, and Stocktonians take on Guisborough 2nds at Grangefield.
Updated 21:27 - 15 Sep 2018 by John Coates