Oundle 7 Stamford 22
STAMFORD’s clash with Oundle bore all the hallmarks of a tense local derby as second played third in the Midlands 4 East (North) division.
But there was only going to be one winner once Stamford got in their stride.
Town maintained their unbeaten league run with a victory at Oundle that delighted coach David Laventure.
He said: “They were brilliant against a very, very good side.
“We had a number of guys missing but this highlighted the club’s strength in depth.”
This win puts the league title firmly in their sights as if they win all their remaining matches, they will be crowned champions.
Following the early exchanges it was Stamford who took the advantage after a great blindside break from Laurent Ross sent Richard Justice into the corner. Minutes later they scored again with almost a carbon copy of the previous move, enabling Justice to round the winger and dive into the corner.
As the playing conditions started to deteriorate, Oundle’s bigger pack started to gain territory and possession but Stamford continued to push their expansive game and great carrying from Wilkins, Green, Stenning and Parker provided good ball for the backs.
Albinson put Dendy Young and Felston through holes and scrum half Ross exploited the smallest of gaps to dive over.
At 17-0, the Oundle fightback started and scored following a series of pick and drives.
The home side mounted wave after wave of attack but Stamford’s Cam Park, Adam Rimmer and Hegget-King were tireless in preventing the score.
With minutes remaining, a timely interception from Justice allowed Stamford to break wide and Calvin Dendy Young put James Allan clear down the left to kill off the fightback and grab the bonus point at 22-7.
Skipper Oli Story said: “It’s March, we are unbeaten and the title is within our grasp. Its where we want to be. It was tough but very satisfying.”
Stamford play St Ives at home tomorrow.