Stamford College Old Boys have made their third consecutive Lincolnshire County Intermediate Cup final after a bruising 10-5 away win over North Hykeham.
Old Boys vice captain Aled Pattinson said: “It means a huge amount to the club to get to another final this season, especially with the disappointments we have had in the league.”
Stamford College sit in ninth in the Midlands Four East South Division.
Pattinson said after the match: “‘We didn’t play well at all in the first half but managed to stay in the game.
“We played like a totally different team in the second half putting together numerous phases and defending well.
“If we can learn to play at the tempo and with the skill we did a times today, for 80 minutes, I think we can beat most teams at our level.”
College were unable to take advantage of the wind behind them in the first half as North Hykeham had long spells in the Old Boys half. However with dogged determination they managed to stop the home side turning their dominance into points.
Both sides managed to put a few good phases together however silly errors were their downfall. The referee showed early on he was in no mood for concessions, sending a College player to the bin 20 minutes in, following a string of team infringements.
College managed to get some points on the board as a result of a successful penalty kick from full back Haydn Johns.
Not long after a North Hykeham winger scored in the corner, the extras were not added. It was a matter of self preservation for the remainder of the half as College had their second player sent to the bin. The first half finished 5-3.
Some stern words from captain John Hickman and coach Jon Duncan at half time had the desired effect.
The visitors came out firing. There were two or three opportunities to score, replacement James Bennett rumbled over the whitewash only to be held up and a few fantastic rolling mauls were brought down tantalisingly close to the line.
Following numerous phases to work up the pitch Aled Pattinson successfully grounded the ball, the conversion from Johns was successful meaning Stamford College Old Boys were ahead. With 10 minutes to go man of the match Tom Williams was forced off the pitch with a suspected broken rib and North Hykeham were camped in the Old Boys’ 22.
Fears of last week’s last minute loss, 15-13 against Sileby Town, were fresh in the team’s minds, however this week there was a happier ending. Hooker John Hickman managed to steal the ball just five metres out from the Old Boys’ line, resulting in the ball being booted into touch bringing the game to a close.