Stamford Rugby Club beat Bedford Queens in Midlands 3 East (South) clash
Stamford made a rapid return to winning ways with a nine-try triumph against Bedford Queens in Saturday's Midlands 3 East (South) clash at Hambleton Road.
The 47-5 victory saw Stamford bounce back from their defeat against near neighbours Oakham in their last outing and maintain the pressure on unbeaten leaders Stockwood Park who currently hold a one-point advantage over Town at the top.
Both teams stood side by side for a minute’s silence to remember the fallen for Armistice Day plus pay their respects to Ron Bodily, an honorary life vice-president at Stamford Rugby and first team captain from 1961-63.
The first 10 minutes saw both teams contesting hard for the ball. With slippery conditions there were plenty of knock-on's resulting in a number of scrums and Stamford took advantage of these with a fast ball out from Robbie Smith to Rees Burns who sprinted down the blind-side for the first try. With a missed conversion this put the score at 5-0.
Stamford took control of the game with the forwards of James Green, Sam Hillary, Fergal McNamara, Tom Wire and Gareth Ramsden driving forward and creating opportunities beyond the gain line for which Martin Bagnall took advantage and got the second try after 16 minutes. Again, the conversion was missed putting the score at 10-0 going into half-time.
Stamford’s fitness showed in the second half with fast line-speeds and strong scrums dominating Queens.
They again took advantage with James Stables taking a pass from Iain Downer and then weaving through the Queens defence to get Stamford’s third try. With no conversion added the hosts took the lead to 15-0.
Ramsden then showed why he’s a great number eight, using his power from a breakdown on Queens’ 10-metre line and driving across the line to give Stamford their fourth try.
Danny McFaden stepped up for the conversion and cleanly put it between the posts, taking the score to 22-0.
With Bedford now on the back-foot Wire carried the ball from another scrum on their 22 to get Stamford’s fifth try after 62 minutes. It was a bad day for the kickers as Town again couldn’t convert, making the score 27-0.
The kick-off took Queens into Stamford’s 22 and, after another scrum was awarded, Bedford grabbed the opportunity and drove forward to get their one and only try of the game.
Stamford still had control of the contest and came back straight back with a second try for Burns, putting down in the corner. Another missed conversion left the score at 32-5.
With the ball going into touch close to Queens’ 22, Stamford got the line-out and James Green, with huge cheers from the crowd behind him, powered over the line to get a well-deserved try on 67 minutes. With another missed conversion the score went to 37-5.
Stamford really had the advantage and the game was finally sown up with tries from David Martin (72) and James Stables (80).
Michael O’Connor, head of the senior section, said: “It was a strong performance from the squad.
“We knew Queens wouldn’t be a push over so it was important to show dominance from the start.
“With the muddy conditions we had to play tight and it was good to see us take advantage of the numerous scrums awarded.”
Head coach Auz Schwarz added: “It’s great to get back to winning ways and put on a performance like that.
“The team’s fitness is really starting to show and the quality of play is taking us up to the next level.
“There are a few areas for improvement, kicking being the main one, but overall it was a great performance from the boys.”
Stamford travel to Rushden & Higham for the next round of the league on Saturday, 2.15pm kick off.
Stamford: James Green, Sam Hillary, Fergal McNamara, Tom Wire, Dan Griffin, Jack Jones, Lewis Nettleton, Gareth Ramsden, Robbie Smith, Iain Downer, David Martin, Danny McFaden, Martin Bagnall, James Stables, Rees Burns, Dan Heard, Ben Murphy.
More by this authorJames Bedford