Stamford Rugby Club are beaten by Daventry in Counties 1 Midlands East (South)
Stamford suffered only their second loss of the Counties 1 Midlands East (South) season after a narrow home defeat in a close contest with Daventry on Saturday.
The eagerly-awaited clash saw just one point separate the two sides going into the match where there was little between them as the visitors returned home with a 17-19 triumph.
In very cold and foggy conditions, the visitors showed their intention from the start by using hard and fast running lines to try and break through but the Stamford defence stood up well.
It was the Northamptonshire side who got the first breakthrough when they won a line out and moved the ball quickly to allow one of their forwards to crash over for a try which they also converted.
Stamford's response was to pass the ball to runners in space and, when Dan Heard attacked, he was stopped just short of the line.
From the line out, the home forwards put in a driving maul to send hooker Harley Riches over for a try to make the score 5-7.
Daventry were trying to out-muscle Stamford but the home side kept their defensive shape and created a gap for Ed Cox to run clear.
When he was stopped, the support arrived quickly and it was Riches again who went over for his second try which Bentley converted to move the score to 12-7.
The visitors stayed with their big crash runners but Town showed better reading of the game and effected a classic turnover and put Mike Kendall through a gap to score their third try.
Town were having a field day at the line out with Jones and especially Chisholm winning everything.
The backs were combining well and moving the Daventry forwards around the pitch as the scoreboard read 17-7 at the interval.
The second half was fully contested by both sides but it was Daventry who worked their way upfield and, after a series of three scrums, they crossed for a try to make it 17-12.
Daventry stuck with their well-tried tactics of crash runners and a mis-timed tackle by Small saw him receive a yellow card.
The game continued in the same pattern and a second tackle offence meant a yellow card for Gaz Ramsden.
Town were now having to dig deep and, when the visitors were awarded a close range scrum, the extra man made the difference and they scored out wide. The conversion crossed the bar with only inches to spare but it gave Daventry a 17-19 lead.
Stamford were now back at 15 players and ran, kicked and chased everything.
It was now Daventry’s turn to have a player sent to the bin for a late tackle and Town threw everything at them.
As the game entered its final minute, Stamford were awarded a penalty but the resulting kick passed to the right of the posts and the referee blew the final whistle and Town’s unbeaten home record came to an end.
Stamford have now completed the first half of the season with 11 games played and nine won and they still sit in third place with 42 points.
It will be another test on Saturday as they travel to league leaders Market Bosworth, a team who they beat earlier in the campaign.