Stocker predicts promotion can be the aim for young Green and Whites

Josh Steggles in full flight in the act of scoring one of his two tries supported by Declan Nwachukwu.
Josh Steggles in full flight in the act of scoring one of his two tries supported by Declan Nwachukwu.

Head coach Nick Stocker is predicting his Horsham can gain promotion to London 1 in the not-too-distant future after his young side dominated Old Alleynians.

The Green and Whites returned to winning ways with a 36-17 triumph on Saturday, despite picking up three yellow cards.

Stocker said: “This is a team which has frightening potential. We have aspirations to go up into London 1 in the next two years.

“A lot of our players were in the second team last year. One third of our team are teenagers and another three or four are in their early 20s.

“It shows the quality of our coaching is providing the building blocks for the future.”

Tom Johnson crashed through after six minutes which he converted. Johnson was then yellow-carded for deliberately knocked the ball on, and Alleynians levelled the scores.

With 14 men on the pitch, Will Bell slotted a penalty, and a sniping run from scrum-half Josh Steggles led to a try as Horsham led 15-7.

Johnson returned and then Rob Grantham-Hill was yellow carded for a similar knock-on offence, but Horsham again made light of their numerical deficiency.

Andy Carvell ran a fine line to score, which was converted by Johnson. Alleynians came back with a try from a driving maul on the stroke of half-time with Horsham leading 22-12.

The Green and Whites scored their fourth and bonus-point try on 63 minutes when Giles Barber crossed the line following a series of great offloads by Nick Bell, Adam Clarkson and Michael Tredgett.

A fine counter-attack led to Steggles scoring his second try.

Johnson converted both scores, before Horsham incurred their third yellow card to Dan Crook and Alleynians came back with a consolation try in the final minute.

Stocker was delighted to see Ryan Maguire, 18, make a successful first team starting debut as he carried out excellent set-piece play.

He said: “This was an 80-minute performance. We were much better than we were for a number of weeks. We exerted control, dominated and scored tries.”