Stamford Rugby Club beat Southwell in the RFU Intermediate Cup
Stamford maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 30-24 victory against a very good Southwell side in the RFU Intermediate Cup on Saturday.
They went into the contest after a hat-trick of wins in the Midlands 2 East (South) and both sides showed their intentions to play an attacking game.
It was Town who got the early breakthrough from a line-out drive where Jack Jones crashed over for a try.
It was clear that the visitors were going to fight for everything in the match when they put together three quick phases to release their speedy right winger who scored out wide to make it 5-5.
Play continued with both sides looking for an opening but well organised defences quickly shut down any attacks.
Stamford skipper Robbie Smith broke down the blind side and his well timed pass put Toby Anderson clear but an excellent cover tackle stopped him just short of the line.
Stamford's pressure paid off when Ian Downer landed a penalty but Southwell hit straight back with a kick of their own to make it 8-8 which was shortly followed with another kick to take a three-point lead.
The following passage of play was then all Stamford as the forwards combined to drive for the line and were awarded two five metre scrums but were stopped short both times.
The Southwell full-back kicked long but this was caught by Harry Ayton who ran back at them resulting in a Stamford line-out.
Jones took the ball on and when stopped Villie Bakitora was in support to score a try.
Such was the nature of the game that it was the visitors who then re-grouped and hit back with a converted try to take the score to 13-18 at the interval.
The last score seemed to lift Southwell and they started the second half strongly, being awarded an early penalty to stretch their lead to 13-21.
Stamford went through a patch where they were not combining well which was leading to turnovers but they sorted this out and upped their game.
From a line-out they drove the ball on and a great blind side pass put Ayton away for a try which reduced the lead to just three points.
Town kept the momentum going, using the forwards to carry the ball directly which resulted in Gaz Ramsden crashing over for another try to put them back into a 23-21 lead.
It was clear that neither side was going to back off as they both went for the win.
Southwell kicked a penalty and followed that up with a quick attacking move but Ian Downer read it perfectly and intercepted a pass to stroll in under the posts for a try that he converted himself to make the score 30-24.
Stamford were now bossing the game, forcing Southwell to throw a few tomato passes which lost them ground.
In the closing stages it was clear that the famous purple, black and white defensive wall was not going to crack and they held on for a well deserved win.
This was an important game as it against a well-drilled side and it tested the Stamford team for the tough games to come. It also means that they progress to the next round of the cup.
They are back in league action on Saturday when they entertain Northampton Old Scouts.