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Stamford hold their nerve in thriller against Oakham

Stamford hold their nerve in thriller against Oakham

On a very dark and difficult afternoon in the rain, it was Stamford School who emerged victorious in a classic school first XV local derby away at Oakham.

It was the home side that started confidently and managed to string a number of attacking phases together allowing them to control the first ten minutes. As the rain came down possession became everything and the game started to turn towards Stamford as they controlled the ball effectively in wet conditions.  Great defence from Harry Clayton and Sean Allsop led to Oakham being turned backwards and it was lock Alfie Shaw who was able to pressure the half backs and pounce on their mistake to go 5-0 up. Charsley- Evans popped over what would be a decisive conversion.

Oakham rallied before the break and took advantage of two errors – firstly crashing over at a lineout and then cutting through at a scrum. Two tries in 5 minutes saw them go into the break in front.

The second half was a classic arm wrestle. Ed Cox and Patrick Harrington created great opportunities, denied by offside and an intentional knockdown and Toby Crane probably still hasn’t slept after his effort was disallowed! With the clock ticking down it was the communal efforts of the whole pack that won through as they crashed over from a line out 10m out. Charsley-Evans added the extras. The final minutes saw huge periods of pressure at either end but it was Stamfords superb defence that saw them home. First XV coach David Laventure was full of praise: “Given the conditions, it was a fantastic advert for schoolboy rugby. Oakham are always a tough nut to crack but the boys showed real character to get the job done. Three wins on the bounce should give them real confidence.”

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