Stamford beat leaders to move top of the table

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Stamford have completed part one of their league conquest, deposing previous leaders Stewarts and Lloyds to move into top spot.

Both sides were unbeaten going into last weekend’s game and Stamford pulled back from 13-0 down to win 30-20. Their challenge now is to extend that lead and pile pressure on the chasing pack.

Skipper Matt Albinson said: “Saturday was a battle but the job is done. Now we have to take points at teams who are lower in the table.

“Our target is five bonus point wins before Christmas. We are all aware that if we can turn around at Christmas with a good points difference the others will know they have a difficult chase on their hands.”

Stamford are just two points clear at the top of the Midlands 3 East (South) after back-to-back victories against sides that were previously unbeaten.

Albinson added: “To play the first and second placed team in a week and come away with nine points is very satisfying.

“We are now top of the pile and we are not going to give that position up without a fight.”

But they were given a stern test by Stewarts and Lloyds, who started the stronger of the two sides, executing a limited game plan to perfection.

Kicking long with the wind behind them, they forced Stamford onto the back foot, and a series of handling errors allowed S&L to mount a series of drives and crash over to go 7-0 up.

Within ten minutes they had added two penalties as Stamford struggled to get into their rhythm.

As half time approached, the home side’s forwards started to tire and great breaks from Chris Fletcher, Joe Allen and Robbie Smith saw Stamford go close. Following a few short attempts, Fletcher threw the ball wide and clever footwork from Tom Lindley saw him dive over.

At 13-7 the momentum began to shift. Stamford played with more confidence and kept the ball in hand, cleverly changing the point of attack.

James Ragg, Tom Wire and Angus Green were devastating at the breakdown, Mark Taylor and Austin Schwarz increasingly exploited space, and Richard Thompson eventually crossed over to score on the left.

Skipper Albinson put more width on the game which led to Taylor and Thompson going under the posts.

Taylor extended Stamford’s advantage, dancing over the line after a great passage of play.

Coach David Laventure added: “There’s a great buzz at the club at the moment.

“The guys have worked very hard. They have bought into what we are trying to do and hard work on the training ground is reaping huge rewards.

“If we all keep working hard things will only get better.”