Stamford win derby honours

Will Mardling scored to win the game for Stamford. Photo Andy Balmford
Will Mardling scored to win the game for Stamford. Photo Andy Balmford
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Stamford rallied to turn around a 17-point deficit to beat derby rivals Oakham in their Midlands Two East (North) clash on Saturday.

The Oaks were leading 17-0 midway through the first half after getting out to a flying start at The Showground.

Oakham capitalised on Stamford penalties to kick for the corners and their well-constructed driving lineouts were powered over for George Reid and Tom Lemon to touch down in quick succession. Mark Matthews converted both before adding to his haul with a penalty. But that was the end of Oakham’s scoring.

Stamford scrum half Robbie Smith charged down a Matthews kick which he gathered to touch down.

After the break, Stamford scored 15 unanswered points to snatch the victory.

Ross Cutteridge went over for Stamford in the corner after receiving a flat pass from Smith who had sniped down the short side. Will Marling added the extras.

Marling then scored a penalty and try in the 76th minute to seal a momentous win for Stamford who were beaten 25-0 by Oakham back in November.

Captain Matt Albinson said: “It was a great game to be part of and a comeback befitting this side’s mentality and never say die attitude.

“Such a performance affirms our quality and status in this league.

“Motivation is high and hunger to finish the season with another five wins is unquestionable.

“The future is very bright for the purple, black and whites and current form suggests we will be a match for anyone in the league next season.

“On a personal note, Saturday was an extremely satisfying outcome, not because it was Oakham, but because the boys did not get embroiled in the rivalry, they just played and played with a desire that we probably have not seen this season so far.

“There is much, much more to come from this squad. It was a proud day to be a Stamford RFC player and supporter.”