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Stamford Rugby Club beat Leicester Vipers

Stamford secured their fifth successive victory in Counties 1 Midlands East (South) after a hard-fought 24-20 triumph against Leicester Vipers on Saturday.

Against their fifth-placed visitors, Stamford were prepared for a tough game as matches against Vipers always are and slippery underfoot conditions were not going to make life easy for either side.

Both teams tried to move the ball around and it was Stamford who had the early control.

From one attack they were awarded a penalty, took a quick tap and drive before sending Dan Heard over for the opening try which was converted by Harry Bentley.

The Leicester side kicked off long but it was taken by Dave Martin who made good ground before passing to Bentley who executed a perfect 50-22 kick and gave Town the throw in at the resulting line out.

This was won by Ben Chisholm and moved to Jack Jones who was driven over by the forwards for a try to make the score 12-0.

Vipers stepped up a gear and tried to run through but the home defence stopped them, stole the ball and started a counter attack when a Vipers player was penalised for a no arms tackle and shown a yellow card.

The penalty was again a kick to touch which was taken by Chisholm, driven on by the forwards before sending it out to Heard who split the defence and set up the ball for George Cox to pick up and drive over the line.

However, the referee disallowed the try for something only he saw and gave a penalty to the visitors.

Stamford were using their back row forwards to carry the ball and had the upper hand in the scrums but each time they were stopped the referee would give a penalty to Vipers.

Martin came forward from full back on a weaving run but the final pass to Penrose-Toms couldn't be held.

As the clocked ticked towards half-time, Vipers were able to finally break the Stamford defence and score to make it 12-5 at the interval.

The second half was an effort by both teams to attack but the ground conditions, along with confusing decisions, meant the game was very disjointed until the visitors worked a line out drive which took them over the line to make it 12-10.

Stamford soon got back into gear and Ed Cox combined the backs to send Chris Penrose-Toms clear but he was hit with a high tackle which resulted in a yellow card for the player and a penalty try to Stamford who led 19-10.

The purple, black and whites were looking to open the game up but the physical Vipers defence stood strong until they were picked open by Heard who then sent Arthur Lewis on a clear run to the line making the score 24-10 and securing the bonus point.

Vipers were now getting the upper hand in the forwards and using their drive to good effect, one of which resulted in a try to take the score to 24-15.

The game continued with both sides going at it 100 per cent and it was in a final attack from Vipers that one of their players threw a massive pass out which fell perfectly in the arms of the winger, coming on an inside line, and he scored to make the final count 24-20.

The victory keeps Stamford in third spot with five games remaining. Their next league match is away at fourth-placed Bourne on Saturday, March 2.

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