Stamford Rugby Club defeat Market Bosworth in their Midlands 2 East (South) clash
It's two wins from two games for Stamford Rugby Club after a 20-18 home victory over Market Bosworth in Saturday's Midlands 2 East (South) clash.
In their first home league match of the season, the contest was played in driving rain and blustery wind that created conditions which were not going to allow a flowing game.
Both sides tried to play attacking rugby, but ball handling in these conditions was always going to be tricky.
It was the visitors who applied the early pressure by using their forwards to carry the ball.
Stamford's defence kept their visitors out but a string of penalties were conceded as Bosworth opted to take the scrum option rather than kick.
They had the heavier pack and backed themselves to outmuscle the Stamford eight, but each time they were stopped and Town were able to clear the ball to touch.
From one opportunity they ran through the centre of pitch and, when stopped, Bosworth were penalised and Ian Downer kicked the penalty to open the scoring.
The game started to settle down and the home forwards were working well together and got the better of the Bosworth pack but neither side could build any momentum due to the conditions.
The visitors kicked long and set up a number of attacks deep in the Stamford half.
From one attack Stamford were penalised for a high tackle and the Bosworth full-back took a quick tap to go over for the first try which he converted himself to make the score 3-7.
Stamford had to make a couple of changes and soon hit back with a long range attack which ended with Jack Jones scoring a try just before the interval, leaving the half-time score at 8-7.
Stamford had both the weather and the cant of the pitch in their favour in the second half and they used both to their advantage.
From one line-out drive, they were held up on the line and from the resulting scrum the back row drove forward to allow the ball to be fed to Martin Bagnall who went for the line and when stopped he had Toby Anderson in support to score under the posts. Downer converted to make the score 15-7.
From the re-start, Town came straight back on the attack as Bosworth tried to counter but great Stamford defence stopped them early on.
The weather was getting no better which led to mistakes and Jones was shown a yellow card for a mistimed tackle which the visitors kicked to reduce the deficit to five points.
Stamford never allowed the fact that they were a man down to affect their play and, from a Bosworth scrum, Bagnall charged down the clearance kick and followed up on the ball to score a brilliant try to make the score 20-10.
Jones was now back on the field but Town then lost Ramsden to another yellow card and a three point penalty.
The game was now in the closing stages with both sides making errors and giving away penalties.
Market Bosworth made the most of the extra man to score a try wide out, but the conversion was missed making the score 20-18.
Stamford then kicked possession deep and set up their defence which remained strong until the final whistle to maintain their unbeaten start.
They travel on Saturday to Northampton Casuals who have not had the best start to the season but nothing can be taken for granted.
It will take more of the same from Stamford to get a result there and keeping 15 players on the pitch is a priority.