Stanford 31 v 52 Maldon
STANFORD Rec was ready and prepared to watch Stanford 1st XV do battle against Maldon RFC from Essex 1. Maldon are a seasoned campaign team from the division that Stanford had just secured promotion to so this game was all set for Stanford to firstly try and get into the semi-finals and to judge how well they will fair next season.
It looked like that Stanford were going to come up short on both counts because after 14 minutes of play Maldon had scored four tries and converted one to lead 22 – 0. Maldon’s quick ball play and fast distribution was causing Stanford no end of problems but they were fighting to get control and what they needed was points on the board.
These came via Calum Reid who when there looked nothing on he slotted a drop goal which gave his side the surge it needed. Stanford was now getting a lot more time with the ball in hand and they started to turn Maldon back towards their own line. Maldon were still attacking and showing that their style of play was fast and wide which once again resulted in another try. What followed next was a piece of true opportunistic play, when Maldon tried to throw the ball wide, Nick Sharp read the pass perfectly to intercept and sprinted clear of the Maldon line to score under posts. Reid made light work of the extra points.
Before Stanford could consolidate on their piece of good fortune Maldon was crossing the line once again. However this time Stanford replied almost immediately through Liam Morley whose fast strong run made light work of the Maldon tackles. Reid again added the extra two points.
A shaky start but Stanford was most definitely in the game and with every minute played they were getting stronger and stronger so although they were trailing at half time Stanford could see a way back.
The second half saw a different Stanford side one that was playing with confidence and style, the side that have been so successful in the league this season started to show through. Sharp finished off an excellent move that the forwards had started, setting a solid platform for the backs to go through the hands to give Sharp the time and space he needed. Reid was on fire and slotted his third conversion.
Another forwards platform from a very good scrum set up Morley who came in on the angle off Reid to bash his way route one towards the posts. Reid kept his 100% record with the boot to add the extra points. Despite Stanford’s much improved showing their visitors were still managing to keep a safe distance in the score.
In the end the slow start paid to be Stanford’s undoing as the final whistle went along with their dreams of another round in the cup the final score read 31 – 52. Stanford can take so much from the performance despite the loss they have shown that they can play in the higher league with some tweaks to their play they will be a team to be reckoned with next season.
Stanford’s man of the match was Liam Morley, a well-deserved honour as he proved he gives so much to his side’s game with his attacking and defensive game.