Stamford School Rugby XV exit NatWest Cup
Stamford School Rugby First XV’s perfect record came to an end on Tuesday when the injury-ravaged side were knocked out of the NatWest Cup away at Bromsgrove School.
Stamford led at halftime but the hosts rallied after the break to win 23-15 and progress to the quarter-finals of the national competition which concludes at Twickenham.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Stamford who were missing influential players including their captain Charlie Dunbar.
But the Endowed Schools side started well playing down the slope and were first to trouble the scorers when flanker George Cox crossed the whitewash.
However they were caught off their guard by Bromsgrove fly half Luke White shortly after who took a quick tap and set the ball in motion for flanker Harry Lloyd-Jones to reply with a try after shrugging off a couple of tackles.
Callum Crellin replied with three points from the kicking tee to make it 8-5 at the break.
In the second half Bromsgrove repeatedly pinned Stamford back into their own half with a series of well executed kicks.
White levelled the scores with a penalty and Stamford were struggling to live with the hosts who had stepped up a gear. Only some brilliant last-gasp tackles in the corner prevented Bromsgrove scoring.
It was only a matter of time before the try came, eventually it was Bromsgrove prop Harry Ferguson who touched down at the back of a powerful maul.
Things got worse for Stamford, with White extending the lead with another penalty and then losing a man to the sin bin after one too many team penalties.
But this is a vintage Stamford School team and they threw everything at the task in front of them in the final ten minutes, led by scrum half Tom Davis who injected a frantic pace into the game with repeated quick tap penalties.
His efforts brought results and he fed number eight Declan Spaine, who superbly stepped the last defender to score under the posts and make it 18-15 with the conversion.
However disaster struck from the kick-off. The hosts regathered the ball and were given a penalty advantage by the referee, Parisi tried his luck with a box kick and Stamford failed to deal with it leading to a try for Chase Edwards to take Bromsgrove eight points clear.
With the curtain closing on a great season for Stamford School the 15 boys of the Endowed Schools on the pitch gave it everything to try and make a miracle happen but despite some fabulous rugby in the final throes they came up short on this occasion.