Stamford Rugby Club are beaten by Northampton Old Scouts in Midlands 2 East (South)
Stamford's winning start to the new Midlands 2 East (South) season was ended following a 7-38 home defeat against Northampton Old Scouts on Saturday.
Town had hoped to continue their winning run after four successive victories in very good conditions against a decent Northampton side.
However, in what turned out to be a game of attrition, they were unable to hold out and incurred a string of injuries that disrupted their play and left them with only 14 fit players by the final whistle.
Town had made a positive start with both sides sounding each other out but the Old Scouts defence was a class above any other team they have met so far and it was not long into the game that Stamford lost Ollie Johnson to injury in his first match of the season.
The visitors were applying pressure which soon paid off with a converted try and after the restart they were on the attack again and, from a penalty scrum, drove over but failed to ground the ball giving Stamford a try line drop out.
Old Scouts ran this straight back though and this time were successful with another converted try to make the score 0-14.
Town regrouped and tried to put together an attacking move but were unable to make any progress and, when possession was lost, the visitors ran a quick passing move to score in the corner while at the same time Stamford lost Toby Anderson to another injury.
It was plain to see that the pace and organisation of the Northampton was going to be hard to deal with as they led 0-19 at the interval.
Old Scouts started the second half as they had finished the first, winning an early penalty and kicking for a line where they secured the ball and moved it quickly down the line for the winger to score.
Stamford never let their heads drop but whatever they tried was met with strong defence and the pressure turned back on them by Old Scouts who put together a long range sweeping move which resulted in another converted try to take the score to 0-31.
At this point Town lost two more players to injury which resulted in them only having 14 fit players on the pitch.
They were now playing for some pride and from a lineout they used an old fashioned wheelbarrow drive which took them to the line but they couldn’t ground the ball and a second drive was again held up inches short.
The visitors launched another attack which was stopped by some determined Stamford tackling and Martin Bagnall stole the ball and ran out of defence and, when closed down, he kicked the ball deep into the opposition 22 where Old Scouts got the ball into touch.
From the resulting line out Stamford made one final effort and John Hickman was driven over for a try which Jack Martin converted to leave the final score at 7-38.
Stamford had to accept they were beaten by the better side on the day but to their credit they never stopped trying.
They make the short journey to Oakham on Saturday for the eagerly-awaited local derby against the Rutland side who were beaten 34-14 at St Ives on Saturday and are still seeking their first league win of the season.