Stockwood Park were crowned Bedfordshire Senior Cup champions after a 37-22 victory over local rivals Dunstablians at Bidwell Park on Saturday.
An inspirational display from Park skipper Jamie Hoque saw him named man of the match as Stockwood recorded their 13th victory in this competition.
Playing into the wind in the first half and led from the front by Hoque, Park withstood considerable pressure from the home team but some magnificent first up tackles from centres Martin Rowe and Kyle Jennings, ably supported by excellent defensive work from the whole team, kept Dunstablians at bay.
After some of this early pressure Dunstablians took the lead through Peter Thompson’s drop-goal but this was soon matched by Park with a penalty from Steve Pollock.
Stockwood started to dominate and, with some great handling movements between backs and forwards, centre Kyle Jennings scored twice, on each occasion showing considerable pace to outflank the cover defence.
Pollock converted both to give Park a 17-3 lead, but on the stroke of half-time, Dees hit back.
After utilising the likes of James Ellershaw and Aaron White to drive Stockwood back, substitute Stuart Hall used a clever dummy to fool the defender and force his way over the line.
Thompson calmly slotted the conversion, making it 17-10 at the interval.
With the wind at their back Park took control once more, with excellent work in the forwards from Michael Powell and Jack Brookes.
Hoque was next to go over, benefiting from a favourable bounce after a well placed kick ahead by scrum-half, Alex Lovell, as Pollock added the extras.
Dunstablians bounced back immediately as they moved the ball out of the ruck and used the pace of the backs to cause problems.
The decision to switch the tactics proved to be the right call, as Matt Reed was handed the ball and demonstrated his blistering speed to barge over for a try.
However, Pollock kicked two penalties for Park to increase their advantage to 30-15, while he then converted Jack Brookes’ effort.
Dees were then reduced to 14 men, but had a consolation try when Campbell Haig, who created several chances and added an extra spark, put Dave Tuffen in a position to offload to Mattie Anderson.
The speedy winger ran half the length of the pitch before placing the ball down to make the final score 37-22.