End to Twickenham Dream
Stamford Schools’ dreams of playing at Twickenham ended on Monday in the mud of Bedford School playing fields. This was an epic encounter with the winner going through to the last eight in the country. The home side started well, scoring inside three minutes, but Stamford were quick to fight back through their pack. Following periods of pressure, great driving play from Alex keys, Ethan Moss and Ben Pinnock allowed James Phillips to crash over, and Kieran Staunton converted.
Again the visitors piled on the pressure as Bedford failed to compete with the power of the Stamford pack. A great chip through from centre Ben Lovell forced an error and allowed Bo Vergalen to dive over in the corner. However, a mistake in front of their own posts allowed the home side to reach the interval 12-12.
There was only one team in the second half as Stamford lay siege to the Bedford line. Brilliantly led by Tom Gulland and Ted Cliff, they were held up over the line four times and had a try disallowed in the 12th minute. Stamford always looked threatening and did everything except score the points. Eventually a mistake allowed Bedford to kick the ball up field and from the ensuing scrum, the number eight was able to break the Stamford line for the first time in the match.
Despite a rousing last five minutes, Stamford could just not hold onto the ball for long enough. A draw would have seen them through but the score just eluded them. Coach David Laventure added; “It was a great advert for schoolboy sport and the intensity from both sides was truly impressive. It’s a shame there had to be a loser but that’s sport. The boys should be incredibly proud of themselves – the season has ended but their rugby journey is far from over.”
It capped off a successful weekend with the Stamford School Under 14 teams enjoying a fine day on Saturday. The under 14 A and B sides worked hard for good away wins at Oundle School and the C team came very close indeed. Performance of the weekend was the D team who beat their Oundle counterparts 24-17 to secure a great win in their first match.