Town triumph against Oundle in one of the best games of their season
Stamford Under 15s snatched a last-gasp derby victory with a late try to defeat visiting Oundle on Saturday.
They had started in true traditional style by going 7-0 down within the first five minutes against a strong and decisive Oundle side.
Stamford regained their composure and started to get the better of the visitors which produced a well deserved try at the hands of Aaron Misimisi.
Misimisi had taken the ball from the rear of a rolling maul 10 metres out from the Oundle line and powered himself towards the visitors try line and eventually, with a little support of his fellow forwards, managed to touch the ball down over the line to make the score line 7-5 to the visitors.
Stamford then gained the ascendancy several minutes later when once again their pack - in the notable form of Aaron Wells, Will Johnson and Dan Rambaldi - powered towards the line hungry to wrest the lead from the visitors.
Oundle's defensive line initially held resolute before scrum half Liam McManus took hold of the ball at the back of the pack and, for the second match in a row, sniped his way towards and over the Oundle line.
The try was duly converted by Dylan Dugasse and the 12-7 lead was Stamford's.
The first half continued with both teams making concerted efforts to push forward and put points on the scoreboard.
It wasn't until the last minute of the half when Oundle managed to break free from the home team’s defensive line and score at the corner to make the half-time score 12-12.
Stamford started the second half brightly and were quickly pushing towards the Oundle try line.
Pivotal to the Stamford attack were Jack Boorman and debutant Jamie Chambers, both of whom played well above and beyond their relatively low game time experience.
Both Boorman and Chambers showed great prowess in the way they carried the ball and also in tackling and being tackled.
Stamford took advantage of this period of power play and, having fed the ball down the line to their fleet-footed winger Will Ramsey, the ball was soon over the line and the hosts found themselves 17-12 ahead.
This sustained pressure from the home team jolted Oundle in to action and they were soon placing the ball over the home team’s line several times and finding themselves going 26-17 ahead.
With six minutes left to play Stamford found fire in their bellies and once again gave their all in attacking the Oundle defence and seeking the elusive points that would give them the lead and victory.
The breakthrough came when Zander Shaw was passed the ball from a ruck and given the instruction to 'go forward'.
This is exactly what Shaw did and ended with him powering his way through the visitors line and scoring a well deserved try which was duly converted by Dugasse.
With the score at 26-24 to Oundle and with a minute to play, Stamford were awarded a penalty five metres out from the visitors’ try line.
As the saying goes 'cometh the hour cometh the man' and the ball was passed to Tank Howard who obligingly took hold of it and powered his way forward towards the line.
At the line it looked as if the defensive line was going to hold firm and victory go to the visitors as they tried to hold and contain the battling Howard.
However, victory was snatched from the visitors when Howard went down and placed the ball over the line and the decisive try was scored.
As the referee blew the final whistle the euphoria was evident from both the Stamford players and coaches.
On the day both sides were equal in attack and defensive modes and as a spectacle it rates as one of the best games Stamford have played in this season.
Stamford: Howard, Rambaldi, Stokes, Johnson, Shaw, Boorman, Chambers, Wells, Bowling, McManus, Ramsey, Misimisi, Atkin, Birbeck, Dugasse.