Newly promoted Stone began life in the Staffordshire 2nd Team League with a remarkable comeback win over Willenhall 2nds this weekend. Stone went into the weekends game cautiously optimistic after a positive pre-season but were immediately put on the back foot, poor tackling and sloppy handling saw them almost played off the park for the first 40 minutes, shipping 4 tries with only a penalty kick to reply leaving the score 26 – 3 and the game seemingly already lost at half time.
Willenhall added to Stone’s misfortune soon after the break scoring their fifth try to extend their lead to 33 – 3. With nothing but pride left to play for Stone rallied and began to make inroads into the home defence before finally managing the break through; first through Paul Draycott and then former captain John Bekalo crossing over. With the game entering the final quarter a string of quick fire Stone tries turned the game on its head, Captain Chip Laidlaw leading the charge before a brace for Ross Norton and John Bekalo’s second saw the Stone go from 30 points behind on 50 minutes to 8 points ahead on 70. Willenhall ensured the match remained tight with another score to reduce the lead to 3 points with 5 to go before Ross Norton completed his Hat Trick at the death, give Stone 43 second half points and a very unlikely 46-38 victory.