Battling win for Stamford

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STAMFORD School First XV picked up their third win in eight days to confirm their season is up and running.

After opening with a decisive 59-7 home win over Bedford Modern School they picked up another 50 points in a midweek victory in the first round of The Daily Mail Cup against Guthlaxton College. However they faced their first stern test last weekend at Oundle School.

The visitors started positively, controlling the ball well. Great driving play from Ethan Moss and Angus Green allowed scrum half Tom Pritchard to scurry through a gap to go 5-0 up. Oundle responded quickly and their forwards, under the guidance of fly half Sam Olver, put pressure on the Stamford line, eventually resulting in a number of penalties. Oundle drove over to tie the scores 5-5 at the half.

Stamford responded with Louis Grimoldby popping over a penalty to go 8-5 up.

Again Oundle turned to their pack who mounted wave after wave of attacks thanks to the ball carrying of No. 8 Harry Spence.

Great work from the Stamford back row of Tom Gulland, Lewis Nettleton and Will Bacon kept Oundle at bay and Stamford played their way back into the Oundle 22 and after a series of pick-and-goes, Nettleton crashed over.

Stamford continued to get over the gain line thanks to late efforts from Tom Wire and Harry Martin and with the clock winding down, clever work from Owen Smith and Pritchard put Joe Nolan through a huge gap. Grimoldby converted to take the score at the final whistle to 20-5.

Coach David Laventure said: “Oundle always present a fantastic challenge. It was a hard, physical, intense encounter and a great game for the neutral.

“The guys did well to hang in there during some intense periods of pressure.”

Captain Louis Grimoldby added: “Hopefully this will give us a platform to build for even better performances.”

Stamford play Haileybury School at Mainfields tomorrow at 2.30pm.