Fearless Town march on into quarter finals

Stamford RFC v Handsworth. Match action.'Photo: MSMP101112-027ow
Stamford RFC v Handsworth. Match action.'Photo: MSMP101112-027ow
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A late try from Mark Taylor secured Stamford’s passage into the quarter finals of the RFU Senior Vase on Saturday afternoon.

Stamford beat Handsworth 38-35 but they left it late to seal the victory.

“It was tense because we were trailing on several occasions,” said skipper Matt Albinson. “They gave us a stern test. They were direct and we were a little off the pace.”

Handsworth, who play their league rugby in a division parallel to Stamford’s in the West Midlands, took an early lead but Stamford, unbeaten in the league this season, have showed several times this season that they have staying power.

The Stamford skipper added: “They had a substantial half-time lead but it was another case of when we got to 60 minutes and can turn things around.

“We had to keep the ball in hand better but one of our biggest strengths this year is our self-belief and we feel we will always be in it at 80 minutes.

“The boys are fit and confident, and the young ones especially have no fear.”

Sure enough, as the clock ticked down Stamford were in the ascendancy.

Handsworth had kicked a late penalty to go in front at 35-33 but Stamford pushed right back towards their visitors’ line and won a penalty of their own just 15 yards out.

With the skipper screaming for his team to kick the three points, Taylor ignored his captain’s orders, picked up the ball and burst over for a match-winning try.

Stamford now await the draw for the next round but Albinson is relaxed about his side’s next opponents.

He said: “The previous three weeks were all won against top-of-the-table sides. We have nobody to fear in the last eight. We have already beaten three of them this season.”

Stamford return to league action tomorrow, with a home fixture against Long Buckby. Kick off is at 2.15pm.

Stamford: Angus Green, Cahal McHugh, Matt helstrip, Jake Wilkins, James Ragg, David Bushrod, Tom Wire, Bruce Parker, Robbie Smith, Matt Albinson, Chris Fletcher, Austin Schwartz, Richard Thompson, Mark Taylor, Tom Lindley. Reps: Matt Jane, David Young, Cameron Park.