STAMFORD Town RFC threaten to get stronger despite beating Deepings 29-12 to get their season off to a winning start on Saturday.
Town eased to a home victory on the opening day of the 2012-13 campaign with tries from Robbie Smith, David Bushrod and Rich Thompson, and good accurate kicking from Will Mardling, but skipper Matt Albinson says they’ve barely started.
Albinson warned the rest of the Midlands 3 East (South) division: “We are only going to get stronger.
“We scraped through on Saturday. It was a rusty performance. It was almost like a pre-season game in a sense because it was the first time that we had the personnel together.”
Town were close behind the promoted sides last season and Albinson added: “Two or three games in and the polish will be there.”
Deepings exposed their rustiness early on when Ali Shaw chipped the ball and beat Stamford’s defence for pace to open up a 5-0 lead for Deepings.
But Town responded with a penalty and a converted try before the interval. Their first try of the season came from Smith, who dotted down after powerful play from Cathal McHugh from a line-out.
“We got a telling off at half-time,” confessed Albinson, whose side extended their lead in the second period.
“We made territory kicking and became clinical around the breakdown,” he said, adding that fitness will be key to Stamford’s season.
“If we are there or thereabouts at 60 minutes, we are often more likely to score because we are fitter than many of the teams we will face.”
Mardling kicked three penalties to open up a 19-5 advantage before Bushrod touched down following some slick handling by Stamford’s backs. Thompson scored Stamford’s final try, scoring after Albinson chipped through.
Stamford travel to Stockwood Park tomorrow afternoon, while Stamford’s 2nd XV host Boston 2nd XV for a friendly match. Deepings RFC host Queens tomorrow.
Stamford: James Green, Cathal McHugh (Angus Green), Billy Williams, James Ragg, Jake Wilkins, Dan Griffin (David Bushrod), Cameron Park (Matt Helstrip), Francois Wiese; Robbie Smith, Matt Albinson, Chris Fletcher, Austin Schwarz, Vince Spurr, Rich Thompson, Will Mardling.
Midlands 3 East (South) results: Northampton Casuals 26 – 15 Stockwood Park; Queens 21 – 5 Daventry; Rugby St Andrews 32 - 21 Old Newtonians; Rushden & Higham 83 – 3 Long Buckby; Stamford 29 – 12 Deepings; Stewarts & Lloyds 49 – 10 Northampton Men’s Own.
n STAMFORD College Old Boys hope to finally start their season, a week late, when they face St Ives tomorrow.
College were forced to forfeit their opening game against Oundle due to a depleted squad being hit by injuries.
Skipper Carl Walker said: “We had picked up a few injuries in the friendly against Bourne a week earlier. It will go down as an 8-0 walkover.
“As far as I know Saturday’s game will go ahead as planned.”
Frustrated Oundle coach Pete Croot said: “We were disappointed that Stamford College could not get a side last week, as our team needed to get pre-season nerves out of the way.
“The lads are raring to go and look sharp in training but a game situation is a different matter.” Oundle host Wellingborough OGs tomorrow.
Midlands 4 East (South) results: Bourne 8 – 57 St Neots, Brackley 30 – 5 Bedford Swifts,Thorney 7 – 10 St Ives; Wellingborough OG 40 – 14 Corby, Westwood 29 - 38 Aylestone Ath.