STAMFORD Town have one hand firmly on the Midland East 4 (South) league trophy after an entertaining derby day victory against Stamford College Old Boys.
A large crowd saw the home side run away with a comprehensive 73-7 victory on Saturday.
And barring a a massive defeat in their final game tomorrow, Town will be crowned champions.
Saturday’s derby started with Town on the backfoot and College dominating territory and possession.
In parts, College were able to match the title favourites but as underdogs they knew they were not going to match the free flowing play of their cross-town rivals and played as tight a game as possible.
Carl Walker and the College pack retained the ball well and half backs Guy Cunningham and Steve Briggs organised things efficiently but the Stamford defence ultimately proved too strong.
Two counter attacks, inspired by Laurent Ross and Craig Felston, from inside their own half put the home side 12-0 up after 10 minutes of College pressure and the story repeated itself as waves of College attacks were repelled for Dave Lindley and Robbie Smith to take full advantage.
Walker gave College something to cheer about before half time, diving over from a penalty move for his seventh try in seven games to cap a great run to the end of the season.
But Stamford responded perfectly.
The back row of Adam Rimmer, Jack Eifion-Jones and Steve Jordan proved too fast and fly half Matthew Albinson’s distribution put Calvin Dendy-Young, Tom Lindley and Craig Felston through holes.
Hooker Billy Williams ensured that Stamford cleaned up the line out and James Green, Jake Wilkins and Oli Story kept the engine running with unselfish driving play.
College never looked like coping with the width and speed of the Stamford attack. Scrum half Smith converted a great chip and chase before Dendy-Young put the icing on the cake, grounding a briliantly weighted kick from Albinson to take the try tally to 11.
The result was a great birthday present for Stamford skipper Oli Story, who said: “Local derbies are always fun. Last season that game was decided by less than a score.
“To have some players missing and still produce such a performance shows our true strength in depth and just how much progress we have made.”