Stamford are back on top of the Midlands 3 East (South) table after victory over Bedford Queens
Stamford returned to the top of Midlands 3 East (South) after a six-try victory over a determined Bedford Queens side on Saturday.
The 34-21 success saw them leapfrog Oakham to take pole position on points difference after victory in the rearranged fixture.
The Stamford side showed a number of changes in personnel and positions due to the game being slotted into this date but those who played showed the commitment and resilience needed to make the result count.
It was Stamford who applied the early pressure forcing the hosts into making errors.
This led to a scrum from which Jack Jones at number eight picked and ran in from just inside the home team’s half for a try which Oli Johnson converted.
Queens came back at them but Town’s defence held strong and then hit back with a good handling move involving Dave Martin, Oli Winspear and Joe McDonald, who was playing back row instead of his normal centre position.
This allowed skipper Robbie Smith to make a clean blind side break before putting Martin in for the try to give Town a 0-12 lead.
The Bedford side were determined not to roll over and forced Stamford onto the back foot and, when they were awarded a scrum, they moved the ball quickly out wide but Toby Anderson read the move and intercepted a pass to make a lot of ground before releasing Rees Burns for his first try.
Stamford had the upper hand in the scrums and were upping their game but a lapse in communication allowed Queens through a gap to score a converted try to bring the score back to 7-17.
This seemed to give the home side a boost and they began to apply pressure but Stamford’s defence stood strong with some great individual tackles from Ramsden and Jones in particular.
They then turned them into a quick attacking move with Anderson finishing off himself this time to make the score 7-22 and secure the four-try bonus point that was always the target for this game by half-time.
There must have been something in the water bottles at half time because Town started the second half way off the pace and precision they had shown earlier.
For a period of about 15 minutes they were caught out in defence and lacked the accuracy needed in attack which resulted in Queens scoring two converted tries and closing the score to 21-22 before Stamford regrouped and began to take control again.
When they were awarded a penalty Smith took a quick tap and run which was moved wide and James Stables was stopped short.
A series of pick and drives tied in the home defence and the ball was fed on to Anderson who crossed for his second try.
Stamford had now fully regained control but still needed some hard tackles to keep out some determined Queens attacks.
Town were using short passes to players coming onto the ball to splinter the home defence and, from one such drive, Ramsden crashed through a number of tacklers to score a try and, with Johnson converting, it took the score to 21-34 which was maintained to the final whistle.
A good performance generally gave Stamford the bonus point win they were looking for but they know they cannot allow lapses to come into their game if they want to keep the chasing sides at bay. This was also the final game for full-back Stables before he leaves the area.
More by this authorJames Bedford