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Stamford Rugby Club are victorious against Spalding Rugby Club





Stamford completed a second derby double of the season after victory over Spalding on Saturday.

The purple, black and whites have twice beaten Rutland rivals Oakham this season in Counties 1 Midlands East (South).

And they followed that up with a second win of the campaign against Lincolnshire neighbours Spalding after a 21-17 success on Saturday.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

The visiting Elephants had played well in the first half when they battled against the conditions and a good home team to only be two points down at half-time

However, despite a bright start to the second half which brought a a superb try for colt Sam Christie, tactically Spalding were out-thought and poor discipline gave Stamford a crucial two-man advantage which they capitalised upon to win an excellent derby in front of a good touchline crowd.

Stamford had been 15-17 winners in the reverse fixture at Centenary Park so Spalding captain Luke Turner knew it would take one of the team's best performances to date to come away with a win.

The pitch at Stamford has a significant slope and, as Spalding kicked off, not only were they battling a good home team plus the slope but also the wind.

However, Spalding were soon in the game with some good carries by Jack Grundy and Miguel Da Silva and an early chance was wasted.

The home team were soon into their stride, using the conditions to gain territory and Spalding's defensive tackling was being tested especially the centre pairing of Conall Mason and Jack Patrick.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

Town then broke out of defence using Ed Cox as the main ball carrier and, when Spalding managed to get it into touch, Ben Chisholm won the line out and the forwards drove over to allow Harley Riches to touch down for the opening score.

Harry Bentley added the conversion to give Stamford an early 7-0 lead.

Spalding hit back with some good driving play of their own but, when possession was lost, it was Cox again who released winger Charlie Penrose-Toms on a sprint down the touchline before he was forced into touch by Patrick with a crucial tap tackle to stop a second try opportunity.

Spalding were winning some important turnovers at the breakdown, keeping Stamford at bay, and, the visitors had a chance after 25 minutes, they took it.

A penalty kick to touch saw lineout possession won by Fergus McKerrancher and a driving maul established which edged its way forward and prop Sam Cowell claimed the try.

Having made his first start for Spalding after recently joining, Zokas Raimondas, was then substituted with Sam Noble replacing having recovered from a long period out injured.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

Stamford had a period of play that included two penalties and three line outs before the visitors managed to break out and release a runner of their own.

Town were penalised for a late tackle and it was now Spalding's turn to kick for touch and drive the line out over for a try.

Both sides were now trying to open each other up but neither could gain an advantage.

When Spalding lost the ball in the Stamford half, full-back Steven Fuchs kicked long to turn them around but no further score saw the scoreboard read 7-5 to the hosts at half-time.

Spalding had brilliantly weathered Stamford's storm with colt Jack Grundy, playing number eight, having an outstanding 40 minutes.

Just two points adrift, home supporters reckoned the sloping pitch should be worth 10 to 15 points so a home upset was there for the taking.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

Stamford kicked off poorly in the second half and Christie, who had replaced Ben Shields on the right wing just before half-time, demonstrated his outright speed by taking the ball on the halfway line and cutting past two Stamford defenders to score a brilliant try out wide.

With a superb conversion in windy conditions from Mason, Spalding had a five point advantage.

Competition at the breakdown was becoming fierce as Stamford battled to get back into the game.

The referee had to call both team captains to calm players down, but Stamford were now winning more possession and their backs were starting to find room to run at Spalding out wide on both flanks.

Stamford had a series of ruck possessions on Spalding’s try line but gallant defence from Alex Worth, Miguel Da Silva and scrum half Adam Sutcliffe resulted in a turnover penalty.

Stamford got back into the game when one quick run out of defence by Fuchs was carried on by the forwards who gave a perfect ball to the backs to attack.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

Spalding's left wing Gav Sharman was outnumbered three-on-one as he tried to intercept a scoring pass out wide. He knocked on and a penalty try was awarded as well as a yellow card with 20 minutes remaining which restored Stamford's lead at 14-12.

The purple, black and whites were now taking control and a flowing move initiated by Hutton was carried on by Cox and Dave Martin but was stopped illegally.

A penalty was awarded at the breakdown 15 metres out from the try line and it was disputed by Mason who was yellow carded.

Stamford were trying to make the extra man count as they ran a good attacking move that eventually ended in the hands of prop Mike Harris who danced his way over the line before emphatically slamming the ball down for a try.

Bentley kicked the extra two points to increase the lead to 21-12.

The visitors were now trying everything they could to break down Stamford.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith
Action from Spalding's defeat at Stamford. Photo: Adrian Smith

With full numbers restored, Spalding broke down the left wing and Sharman scored by the corner flag, leaving the visitors four points adrift with the referee blowing for full time.

The derby win cements Stamford's grip on third place in the table as they travel south down the M1 on Saturday to Stockwood Park in Luton who they beat 57-7 earlier in the season.

The defeat leaves Spalding in seventh spot ahead of Saturday's home match with Long Buckby.

They were left to look back on another game where Spalding could and, perhaps should, have won similar to the close game against league leaders Daventry a fortnight ago.

On this occasion Spalding failed to take advantage of the significant sloping pitch in the second half by kicking for territory and forcing the opposition to battle back.



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