Stanford 1st XV (31) – Ongar 1st XV (7)
Stanford win their cup semi-final .
Ongar visited Stanford for the second time this season but this time is was in the semi-final of the cup. Ongar was the only team that had beaten Stanford in the league season so they were more than capable of beating the home side.
Stanford were in no mood to be second best and from the very start they pushed on towards the Ongar line. Dominic McDonald is a real live wire at scrum half and as the forwards delivered the ball from a set piece he dummied one way and then darted through the Ongar defence to go in under the posts after just 4 minutes. Calum Reid made the kick look easy despite the strong gusty wind.
The Stanford forwards were working hard taking the game to Ongar, as they bashed their way forward Ongar was penalised on their five metre line. Greg Rumble stepped up took the ball on and drove over the line. Clearly grounding the ball but with the official calling play on Stanford quickly dug the ball out and Captain Matt Rumble made sure of the score. Reid again added the extra points.
Ongar was giving Stanford a good fight but the defence was solid. Troy Elkes seemed to be hitting every Ongar player who had his hands on the ball. With the pressure placed on Ongar they were forced into making mistakes and Stanford capitalised on these. Liam Morley finished off a good move when from an Ongar error his centre team mate Sam Herbert put him into space which Morley made the most of, by making light work of the Ongar defence. Reid slightly further out this time still made the windy conditions look nothing and added the extra two.
Stanford was varying the line of their attack and as the forwards drew in the Ongar defence McDonald gave a quick ball to his back line. The Stanford back line running at a fast pace put winger Nick Sharp in for a well-crafted try.
As half time came Stanford were in control of the game with a lead 26 – 0.
Ongar hadn’t travelled to the rec to lie down and straight in to the 2nd half they battled their way over the Stanford line and converted their try. The Ongar defence and attack was boosted by their score and Stanford found themselves working much harder to keep control.
Ricky Percival was matching his back row partner Elkes for work rate and was linking well with number eight Reece Anderson to make hard yards into the Ongar defence. Stanford was backing each other up as they had done all season and Morley was on hand to take a floated pass, fend off several tackles and score his 2nd try of the day.
Despite the windy weather both teams had managed to play good flowing rugby and the rucks and mauls were strongly contested. However Stanford’s good start had paid dividends and won the game 31 -7.
Stanford awarded two man of the match honours going to Troy Elkes and Ricky Percival for the endless hard work for their team.
Stanford’s 2nd XV also reached their respective cup final this weekend when local rivals Pegasus 2nd XV had to withdraw, given the Stanford side a straight line into the finals.
Stanford under 14’s (36) – Maldon under 14s (14) AWAY WIN
Stanford’s under 14’s travelled across Essex to Maldon on Sunday with just 14 players but the Stanford players showed their strength and good team work to win comfortably over their hosts who had a a full side and subs at their disposal.
Stanford’s try scorers were George Whalley (3), Mark Ikhifa (2) and Callum Pluck (1). Ikhifa aslo converted 3 of the tries.