Unstoppable Stamford keep their lead at the top

Action from Stamford Rugby against Melbourne. Photo: Pip Warters - www.acelensman.com EMN-151211-114514001

Action from Stamford Rugby against Melbourne. Photo: Pip Warters - www.acelensman.com EMN-151211-114514001

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Stamford Rugby are quite rightly wondering what might be at the end of the season, after winning their sixth Midlands Two East North game of the season on Saturday.

Stamford beat Nottingham Casuals, a side who came back from 13-0 down to beat them 40-13 last season, 20-17 on the road at the weekend to stay top of the league.

Nottingham got off to a lucky start, turning the ball over in their own 22 when Stamford were pressuring and breaking up-field through the full back, who then linked up with the Casuals winger to score in the corner after four minutes.

Stamford fly half Laurent Ross then took control of the game, first he converted a penalty to narrow the gap to 7- 3 and then he began to place probing kicks into the Casuals’ half.

Ross kicked a penalty to the corner and second row James Ragg took the ball at the line out and formed a driving maul around him which saw Bruce Parker touched down for the first try of the game.

Almost in quick succession a carbon copy of a try was supplied. But this time the ball was thrown to Alan O’Connor at the front of the line to extend the lead to 15-7 as Ross stroked over the conversion from out on the left.

The game settled for a brief period until some poor tackling in the midfield left Casuals with field position in Stamford’s 22. They played phase after phase and finally, due to a mismatch down the left hand side Casuals’ fly half raced in to take the score to 15-12.But before the break Ross hit a near perfect cross field kick from a penalty which was gained by full back, Steve Taylor who took on the cover defence only to be held and not released. The penalty was taken immediately and Dan Griffin went over.

In the second half Nottingham scored a lucky try after reacting first to a tapped down line out but Stamford held on with some heroic defending.