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Stamford Rugby Club beat St Ives in Midlands 2 East (South)



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Stamford returned to winning ways in Midlands 2 East (South) on Saturday after ending a run of three successive defeats.

They ran out 33-10 victors at St Ives in the first meeting between the two clubs for a number of seasons.

The game began with both sides sounding each other out, but it was Stamford who looked the better equipped as they applied the early pressure.

Gaz Ramsden then broke through the home defence and committed the last defender before slipping the ball to Lewis Nettleton in support to score the first try that was converted by Ian Downer for a 0-7 lead.

Stamford continued to look comfortable with the ball in hand and, when called upon, their defence stayed solid.

The only blemish had been a yellow card for a deliberate knock down, but Town were then hit by a second blow when Matt Betts suffered a nasty knee injury and had to be replaced.

They soon settled down with some strong tackling and Downer was kicking well to take play into the St Ives half.

The home side were now conceding penalties and, from one in the 22, Stamford took a quick tap-and-go and Ramsden broke through to score a try which was again converted by Downer to move the score on to 0-14.

Town were playing a much more controlled game, mixing up forward drives with moving the ball down the back line and the heavier home pack were struggling at times to keep in touch.

The second half had barely began before a clean break by Jack Jones saw him sprint in for a try without a hand being laid on him. Downer added the extra two points and Town now had a 0-21 lead.

St Ives replied with some good forward play but it wasn't until they fed the ball to their speedy number 11 that they made any progress.

He collected the ball in his own half and broke free before beating the Stamford defence on the outside and running round for a try under the posts which was converted to bring the score back to 7-21.

Stamford re-started with a charge upfield by George Nairn who passed to Toby Anderson who drew the full back but the final pass to the wing went astray and the opportunity was missed.

The home team had upped their game and tried to break out, but it was the Stamford defence that held firm and Nettleton stole the ball and went on a solar-charged run down the left touchline before passing to Jones who crossed for his second and Town's fourth try that secured the bonus point.

St Ives were trying desperately to get something out of the game and put together a good move which resulted in a try in the corner.

The score was now 12-26 and they soon tried to repeat the move but Anderson read it perfectly to intercept the pass and stroll in for a try which was again converted by Downer.

To their credit the hosts fought hard to keep the ball and, after quite a few phases, they scored near the end to make the final score 17-33.

The bonus point win was what the aim had been for Stamford who deserved it with the whole team working well together.

Special credit must go to two of the young players who have come into the side, Austin Baker in the back row and a very tidy performance by George Howard at scrum half.

The team hope to carry this momentum on to Saturday's match away at fifth-placed Wellingborough who are one spot above Town in the table on points difference.



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