Stamford are four points clear at the top of Midlands 3 East (South) after victory over St Neots
Stamford moved four points clear at the top of Midlands 3 East (South) after a crushing 50-0 victory over visiting St Neots on Saturday.
They had gone into the match looking to erase the memories of last season’s defeat to St Neots which had effectively denied them promotion.
Stamford fielded another strong team with only four changes in the starting line-up against a St Neots side who have yet to register a win this season.
Town started strongly, keeping the ball alive and moving it with purpose, with the early pay off for this being a try for Dan Griffin when he strolled in unopposed for a score. Oli Johnson stepped up with the conversion.
From the kick-off a quick pass from skipper Robbie Smith released Mike Kendall on a blind side run. When he was stopped they switched the play back across the backs and Harry Ayton scored in the corner for an early 12-0 lead.
The visitors attacked in centre field but Dan Heard stopped them, ripped the ball free and passed to Rees Burns who sprinted clear only to be stopped.
Again they switched the attack wide and, when St Neots were penalised for not releasing, Ayton was on hand to score his second.
Griffin was injured in this move and was replaced by Tom Mutter who was making a welcome return to the team.
Town were now using the various options available to attack with George Nairn making some charging runs through the forwards and Burns using his pace out wide.
Stamford went into a scrappy period for a while, including a yellow card for Tom Wire, but they clicked together to produce another blind-side move resulting in a third try for Ayton which was the fourth and bonus point safely secured to give a half-time score of 22-0.
From the restart Stamford picked up the pace and, never one to miss a gap, Smith was driven over by Wire and Heard for a try which Johnson converted.
St Neots tried to come back but they faced a very strong defence and, although they kept possession, they were being driven backwards.
Town again went into a disjointed period, conceding three quick penalties which gave the visitors a five metre line out but it was Stamford who won it and kicked clear.
From the resulting line-out they put together a great driving maul and, when the ball was released, full back Ian Downer came into the line and found Sam Hillary in support to score a try under the posts which Johnson again converted to make the score 36-0.
With the visitors notably tiring Stamford again went on the attack and, after three quick rucks, Wire was left in open space to stroll in for a try with Johnson again adding the extra point.
It was all Stamford now but credit to St Neots who made life as difficult as possible for them, including an interception from a scrum which Town reclaimed.
They hit straight back with a great run by Danny McFaden who when stopped had Wire in support to score with McFaden kicking the conversion to finish the game with the score at 50-0.
This was another complete performance by Stamford who were boosted by nearest rivals Stockwood Park losing at home to Spalding.
Town now have three tough games to come before Christmas and know they will have to maintain this standard of play to hold onto top spot.
They travel to Spalding on December 7 before visiting Stockwood Park the following weekend with Bourne then making the short trip to Hambleton Road on December 21.
More by this authorJames Bedford