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Stamford College Old Boys beat Skegness Rugby Club in the Lincolnshire Cup



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Stamford College Old Boys moved into the semi-finals of the Lincolnshire Cup with a 29-5 victory over Skegness on Saturday.

With promotion virtually unattainable from Midlands 4 East (South), this was the main claim to silverware this season for the Old Boys.

On the back of a yellow storm warning, College kicked off with the heavy wind against them in the first half.

Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666703)
Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666703)

Instantly College had the upper hand and spent a nice amount of time in the Skegness half and, more importantly, within their 22.

The first score was soon to come as Tom Birks picked from the base of a ruck and went down the blindside on an opportunist jaunt, beating three defenders in his path to go over for the first score. Johns added the conversion to make the score 7-0.

Skegness clearly had a talking to underneath the posts and it showed come the kick off as they now found themselves in a good position within the centre of the park.

A needless amount of penalties given away by College helped Skegness set a good platform to launch an attack on the home five metre line.

As a bigger pack, they were able to control the Stamford scrum and make it difficult for the hosts.

However, in a turn of events College took one against the head and cleared the lines.

An optimistic kick to touch saw the wind keep it on the field and Harry Bell was first to it as he went over for his first score of the day, albeit completely against the run of play. The conversion was missed to make the score 12-0.

The game settled and became a much quieter affair for the remainder of the first half as the potential for some excellent running rugby was somewhat damaged by the weather and excellent defensive efforts from both teams with big hits coming in from Walker, Pickerill and Farthing.

Some great set moves out in the backs bolstered with good running lines from Durman and Wilkinson couldn’t unlock the Skegness defence with Stamford College clearly reaping the rewards from new backs coach Phil Kentish.

Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666701)
Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666701)

It was now the turn of the visitors to give multiple penalties away and Stamford kept going to the corner to use their most effective weapon, the driving maul.

Although dominating, they couldn't find a way over until, instead of going for the line-out, Fraser received a quick tap and powered through for the third score of the game.

However, that was to be the end of play for the number eight as he sustained a knock going over. The conversion was missed to make the score 17-0.

Kev Pulley replaced him but bore the brunt of a previous team warning about penalty infringements at the scrum and within seconds was dismissed for 10 minutes for entering a ruck illegally at the side.

With the numerical advantage, Skegness were able to stay in the game with a score of their own, however, the conversion went awry to make it 17-5 at half-time.

Knowing they had the wind in the second half, some fresh legs were brought on to really assist the home side.

Steve Harker came on in the pack to play alongside his son Max, replacing Micheal Paige, Houston made way for Brierley-Lewis out on the wing and there was also changes at scrum half with Flanders coming on for Deanchau.

Kicking off, the changes immediately benefited Old Boys through a few bruising phases.

Some excellent territorial play, alongside quick ball from Flanders and also boosted by the end of Pulley's yellow card, saw Brierley-Lewis cross over in the corner for the fourth try for Stamford College. A difficult conversion couldn't find its way over to leave the score at 22-5.

Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666699)
Stamford College Old Boys were 29-5 winners against Skegness. Photo: Ray Bates (54666699)

It was at this point that captain Johns went down with a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Joe Austin.

This was to be the beginning of a minor injury crisis for the College as Pulley and Steve Harker were struck down.

Paige and Johns returned to the field with the latter making a rare cameo on the back row.

Consistent phases and keep ball pursued as the College looked to close the game out.

The tiring Skegness pack were now at a slow jogging pace and this opened the game up and allowed College to play in the right areas.

With the last few minutes of play, a great set of hands saw Bell take the ball at speed and he danced around a handful of defenders and claimed his second try of the day. The conversion was added by Brierley-Lewis to make the final score 29-5.



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