Stamford pay for poor preparation

Richard Thompson scores for Stamford'Photo: pip@acelensman.com
Richard Thompson scores for Stamford'Photo: pip@acelensman.com
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Stamford Town 12 Lincoln 14

STAMFORD were knocked out of the Midlands Senior Vase on Saturday.

Town went into the game against Lincoln full of confidence that they would repeat their NLD Shield victory of earlier in the year but after a chaotic pre-match, Town were beaten 14-12 at home and out of the competition.

Stamford’s afternoon began badly. Having thought it was a 3pm kick off, Stamford started warming up at 2pm with, they thought, plenty of time to run through their set pieces one final time. But at 2.20pm the referee declared 10 minutes until kick off.

The disruption unsettled Town, who played the first 20 minutes of the game in uncharacteristic fashion and after a good defensive display last week in the league, Stamford conceded two soft tries in the first half.

The first try came from one of many handling errors made by Stamford throughout the afternoon. The Lincoln hooker pounced on the end of the breakaway try.

Lincoln’s second came late in the first half when their winger finished off a move that consisted of many phases put together near Stamford’s line.

Although Oli Story consistently hit his man at the line out, Stamford’s scrums were frequently going backwards, which made it hard for Stamford to get any momentum.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Stamford seemed to wake up and good running lines form Calvin Dendy Young and Loz Ross got Town over the gain line.

Just before the end of the half, Stamford had chances to narrow the lead but failed to take them.

The positive end to the half at least provided some belief in the half time team talk and from the restart, Stamford stepped up a gear, created many scoring chances.

The introduction of James Ragg at second row, and Julian Cridle’s move to the front row gave Stamford stability in the scrum and a great base to build from.

Stamford’s first try can from a scrum. With Robbie Smith able to wrap the scrum half up, Stamford’s open-side flanker Jack Eifion-Jones ripped the ball from his grasp to run in from the 22 metre line.

Less than 10 minutes later and Stamford were between the Lincoln sticks again, Richard Thompson stepping past four Lincoln defenders on the way to a well-taken try after great rucking from Stamford. The conversion was slotted and Town had the momentum but they couldn’t add to their score.

Stamford play Queens at home tomorrow.