Stamford College Old Boys draw with Northampton Men’s Own
A late penalty secured a share of the spoils for Stamford College Old Boys in their Counties 3 Midlands East (South) clash with Northampton Men's Own on Saturday.
Carl Brierley-Lewis kept his cool late on to slot home the successful penalty and ensure the honours finished even after a 17-17 draw.
College had gone into the contest after losing their opening two away games to South Leicester (24-15) and Sileby Town (20-10).
Men's Own were new entrants into the league this season, following their relegation from Counties 2 Midlands East (South).
They travelled to Welland Academy on the back of a big 62-13 win last weekend, so the Old Boys knew they were in for a hard-fought match.
Despite this, the College got off to a dominant start, pinning the Northampton side in their own half with big carries from the likes of Pickerill, Darlington and debutant Juggins making vital yards for the home team.
After five minutes, the pressure became too much for Men's Own as a perfectly-executed line-out saw Sam Duncan crash over in the corner for the College's first try of the day. A composed Brierley-Lewis converted the tricky kick with ease to cement the 7-0 lead.
A turbulent 15-minutes followed with both sides defending well and forcing errors as Walker, Harker and Parker all put in some monstruous tackles for the Old Boys. However, it was Men's Own next on the scoreboard as they kicked a penalty to make the score 7-3.
The College reacted immediately. A great effort from the kick-off forced Men's Own into touch, giving the Old Boys a line-out on the 22-metre line.
Another perfectly-executed lineout gave debutant Paul Beard the platform for a rampaging run down the pitch, dotting down for a great score, and College's second of the day.
Brierley-Lewis once again converted the try, extending the Old Boys’ lead to 14-3.
After a lengthy back-and-forth, it was Men's Own who capitalised. After a knock-on from the College, the Northampton side reacted quickly to swing the ball out wide, capitalising on the open space, gliding in for their first score of the day. The kick was missed to leave the score 14-8.
The Old Boys continued their impressive form as Beall, Kentish, and Durrant made great ground for the Stamford side, but Northampton’s impressive work at the break down stopped the hosts from crossing the line.
In fact, Men's Own's powerful defence and breakdown work continued to earn them penalties, winning them excellent field position, which allowed them to kick two further penalties, taking the score to an even 14-14.
In the final few minutes, a College player was yellow-carded for an unfortunate high-tackle on the Northampton winger, which saw Men's Own break the deadlock with another kick for a 14-17 lead.
The College forced a knock-on at the kick-off, winning a Stamford scrum. The referee advised this would be the final play. Thankfully, the Old Boys scrum had been dominant all afternoon and the ball was secured.
A storming run from another debutant Misimisi gained vital yards before the Old Boys won a penalty at the breakdown, moving them further up the pitch.
The Northampton defence held strong, but the College continued to run hard, working their way slowly up the pitch, careful not to give away a penalty and debutant Bryant at scrum-half made all the right decisions.
Eventually the Old Boys' hard work and patience paid off, as they won a kickable penalty at the breakdown.
A cool Brierley-Lewis once again delivered, kicking the points, and sealing the game as a draw. 17-17.
Old Boys' second team will be in league action on Saturday as they welcome Gainsborough 2nds to Welland Academy. The first team have a break.