1stXV v Bishop’s Stortford, Sat Jan 20 2018, National 1, Match Preview
Ampthill welcome Bishop’s Stortford to Dillingham Park this Saturday for another local Derby.
Bishop’s Stortford was formed in 1920, playing its first matches at Dunmow Road before moving to the present location at Silver Leys in 1928. The current Clubhouse was re-opened in 1985 when an international select XV took on the First XV – and lost, although the score is lost in the folklore of the Club, where individual “wins” over current internationals never fade into the dark!
The club 1stXV adjusted quickly to League rugby, winning promotion into London Two North in the very first season in 1987. After a 15 year consolidation, promotion to London One (level 5) was finally won in 2003.
After another consolidation, this time only 10 years, promotion to National 2 South was achieved in 2013 in front of a crowd of 1500.
After just 4 seasons at level 4 promotion to National One was achieved at the end of 2017.
The Blues or 2nd XV compete in the Zoo Shield Divison 1 league & a the Hertfordshire County Cup. The 1stXV last won the cup in 2008 and the Blues repeated that success in 2013, 2016 & 2017.
Our Thirds also participate in the Zoo leagues (Division 3) whilst our, Fourths & Fifths participate in the Herts Middlesex Merit Tables.
The Colts team, who usually play on a Sunday, have been regular winners of the Hertfordshire County Colts Cup, most recently in 2013/14 and County Colts Sevens Cup. They also compete in the National Colts Competition, which they won in 2012/13.
The Mini and Youth Sections continue to thrive, thanks to the commitment of many parent coaches and the determination of the Club to provide all possible support, particularly in the training of coaches. we currently have in the region of 600 children enjoying their rugby education at Stortford.
Storford have a played 17 won 10 record to lie 7th in the National 1 table 3 places and 9 points behind Ampthill.
Our 1stXV drew 29-29 on the road at Esher last week with a performance of two halves, leading 10-26 at half time with a bonus point secured they conceded 19 unanswered points in the second half to trail 29-26 only to secure a draw with a last kick of the game penalty goal.
There are a number of changes to the 1stXV squad, the forwards see the return of Toby Trinder at Prop, former regular James Fish returns at Hooker, while Ben Gulliver returns at Lock. The backs see Stef Liebenberg at Scrum Half while Fraser Strachan make his first start at centre. The bench sees Josh Taylor return to cover Hooker, George Thorton rotate to Prop, Syd Blackmore return from injury to cover the back row, Gavin Williams & Pete Weightman rotate to cover scrum half and outside backs.