Bonus points for Stamford

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STAMFORD picked up a valuable bonus point with a composed win at Aylestone Athletic.

The weather conditions did not suit a Stamford side that play with pace and width. A strong wind gusted directly up the pitch making the kicking option a proactive weapon to gain territory and set up strong attacking positions.

Matthew Albinson, again standing in as captain in the absence of injured Oli Story lost the toss only for the opposition skipper to choose to play into the wind and allow Stamford to start the game with the wind at their backs.

It was evident from the first kick that a repeat of the previous week’s whitewash was not on the cards.

Aylestone won possession and drove forward on numerous occasions. But apart from two penalties at the breakdown Stamford simply hit runners and nullified the Aylestone attack time and time again.

When Stamford gained possession they chose to turn Aylestone around, kicking long on through either Ross or Albinson winning several lineouts in the Aylestone twenty two.

The first score came from an eight man rolling maul which had Steve Jordan at the bottom to dot the ball down.

Further tries were scored in the first half, with Jonathan McKie crossing for his first competitive try since returning from a broken wrist and Laurent Ross with a quickly taken penalty to go under the posts.

With a penalty and a conversion from Craig Felston the half-time score was 20-0 and the bonus point try was still needed.

Five minutes into the second half Aylestone conceded one of many penalties and Richard Justice, emulated Laurent Ross, in tapping to himself, breaking the line and going over unchallenged to secure the bonus point and take the score 25-0.

With the bonus point in the bag the team began to play with more freedom, forwards carried in packs and the backline showed some excellent handling to send Calvin Denby-Young and Robbie Smith in for two further tries and to secure a 37-5 win.

Albinson said: “We can now put the league to one side for a week and concentrate on performing in the cup.

“We have put the pressure on Biggleswade and I am sure they will feel it when they take on Stoneygate next Saturday.

“We are just going to enjoy the challenge of the quarter-final. The difference is this week we need not worry about scoring four tries.

“We simply need to win, 3-0 will do, but knowing the mentality of the boys, 3-0 will not suffice.

“With Pinley having only lost one game all year and Stamford boasting an unbeaten record the game is sure to be one to savour.”

Kick off is at 2pm.