STAMFORD Town RFC rounded off their league campaign with a demolition of their derby rivals Deeping.
Town were clearly disappointed at just missing out on promotion from the Midlands East 3 (South) division this season and the Green Machine bore the brunt of that Stamford frustration.
The home side put in a performance emphasising the gulf between sides who end the year looking at different ends of the table.
Captain Oli Story was delighted and said: “It’s a bit disappointing not to have got promoted, which was always our goal. Being ambitious is why we have been successful. But it was a great way to finish the season, and we still have the cup final.”
Victory in that match, where they are certain to face higher level opposition, would be Stamford’s sixth trophy in three seasons.
“It will be a good test to see where we are at,” added Story.
Right from the outset last Saturday, Stamford played at a high tempo and after just four minutes Jack Eifion-Jones skipped down the short side to get the ball rolling.
Minutes later Adam Rimmer was on the end of some great pick-and-go work as Luke Cripps, Bruce Parker and James Green all smashed into the heart of the Deepings defence.
Great distribution and running lines from Tom Lindley and Matt Albinson caused endless problems for the Deepings centres and Frank Wiese danced into the corner before Eifion–Jones produced a carbon copy of his first effort. With Tom Lindley in great kicking form Stamford scored their 39th point with half time still five minutes away.
Stamford played into a stiff breeze after the break and decided to keep ball in hand, even from behind their own posts at times.
A freak interception try for Deepings forced Stamford to go up through the gears and great hands from Laurent Ross put Justin Bland clear on the right to sidestep his man and go over in the corner. Ross and Lindley repeated this five minutes later for Bland’s second score.
By this time Stamford’s back row of Tom Gulland, Ross Cutteridge and Eifion-Jones were controlling the game and were first to every breakdown in defence and attack. Robbie Smith produced another of his outstanding breaks to allow Angus Green to smash over from close range and to finish two classic first phase moves, executed to perfection, saw Tom Gulland go over twice in the dying minutes.
All that remained was for skipper Oli Story to kick the conversion which took the score to 86-17.
Coach David Laventure added: “It’s a great way to finish the league season, I think the guys proved they could easily handle rugby in the next league up and that has to be the target next year.
“We lost to the league winners by just one point and seven points over two legs. That’s how fine the margins are. But they will be back better for their experiences.”
Stamford play either Ashbourne or Nottingham Moderns in the cup final on May 20 at Kesteven.