Stamford beaten by league leaders

Stamford RFC v Matlock. Photo: John Butcher EMN-140511-134222001

Stamford RFC v Matlock. Photo: John Butcher EMN-140511-134222001

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Entertaining top of Midlands Two East North side Matlock was never going to be an easy task but Stamford battled well all afternoon however they were still defeated 16-8.

The loss drops Stamford to bottom of the league with fellow strugglers Bakewell Mannerians moving off the foot of the table with a 55-10 win over Dronfield.

Stamford were well and truly up for the challenge right from the off and from the very start Matlock were under attack and were carved up through the middle.

The sustained pressure by Stamford led to a penalty being awarded and three points being taken.

Matlock retaliated with their own pressure and worked themselves into Stamford’s 22 but some gritty defending kept them out and captain Auz Schwartz sped out to intercept a pass and bolted clear, after 30 metres he passed to his supporting winger who fended off defenders but was brought down deep in the Matlock half. The ball was spun wide where second row Tom Mutter crossed over to touch down.

The remainder of the match was fought intensely between the two sides and Matlock scored two tries which came from them having to break down a solid defence and take their penalties which took them 16-8 up.

Stamford played well and could have got something from the game. They probably should have scored more tries but handling error, being held up over the line and a deliberate knock on by the opposition winger in a two-on-one situation all conspired to kept them out.

Unfortunately the result was the same as it has been for the last five weeks - a loss.

Coach Stef Arlow said: “We showed we can play today and we can take it to the league leaders.

“We played with confidence and intensity and the boys walked off after giving everything.

“Results haven’t gone our way, player availability hasn’t gone our way but I’m to blame for the team not performing and I’m working on putting this right.”