Saturday, June 15, 2024

Rugby: Stanford through to President Shield final

Stanford 1 XV (37) – Writtle 1st XV (25)

Stanford take Cup semi-final in extra time.

Stanford were the first to score with an early penalty from the boot of Calum Reid and it wasn’t too long after that when Alistair McDonald stepped his way over the line after a wonderful inter link play through the backs. Reid added the extra points with ease. The game was being played at fast pace and some very good rugby by both sides. The defensive plays were powerful from both teams and made for an exciting match. Writtle levelled the scores first with a penalty of their own and then were awarded a penalty try when Stanford was seen to have pulled down a good rolling maul. Half time the scores were 10 apiece.

The second half started well for Stanford as Writtle tried to use the wind but Stanford’s Liam Morley made a blistering power run down the outside then offloading to Neil Cockrell who sprinted over the try line, which Reid again made light work off adding the two points. Writtle were soon to be reduced to 14 men after a yellow card was shown but they battled on and clawed back points from a penalty kick. With the 2nd half clock ticking down Stanford were given an advantage in play when Writtle came off side, Reid took one step and slotted the perfect drop goal to edge Stanford clear by 5 points. The games were still too close to call and as in previous encounters Writtle finished strong with a try but were unable to convert, bringing the score level at 20 all at full time.

A quick break and extra time got under way, with Stanford looking the stronger of the two sides. An early missed penalty kick set the home crowd on edge but another offence then saw Writtle reduced to 14 men again. This time Stanford capitalised in the extra man when Ash Smith coming off the bench drove over after a lot of forwards pressure from Stanford, Reid made sure of the extra two points. At the end of the first half of extra time Stanford lead 27 -20. Five minutes into the 2nd half of extra time and Stanford broke off a scrum and Alistair MacDonald saw space behind the Writtle wing deftly chipped ahead for Neil Cockrell to run his 2nd of the day. Although Stanford was now clear by 12 points Writtle never gave up and reduced the deficit to 7 once again.

The play of the game however belonged to Stanford when the forwards again gave a strong platform for the Stanford backs to attack putting Nick Sharp in for a diving try in the corner, final score 37 – 25 to Stanford.

An outstanding game played by two very well matched teams and played in front of a large number of supporters. Stanford now move onto the President Shield final on the 14th May.

Stanford u16s (34) – Romford u16s (32)

An extremely exciting but tight friendly game which Stanford won on the final whistle of the game. Both sides played some fantastic rugby and the game could have gone either way. Try scorers for Stanford were Matthew Hook, Sean Loughran, Harvey Cassidy, Ross Gale and Jake Tottman

Shield Final – Stanford U14s (28) – Basildon u14s (17)

Cup Victory in the Shield final for Stanford

Whenever these sides meet it’s a close game and true to form we saw another absorbing match. Basildon has a large mobile pack which resulted in Stanford having to show their defensive qualities throughout the game. Stanford opened the scoring with Derry Mager breaking through with Connan Crowhurst adding the extras. After sustained pressure from Basildon, Stanford stole the ball in the loose and fed their backs with Derry Mager scoring with Connan Crowhurst converting once again. Basildon came straight back and scored a fine try before halftime to leave the scores at 14-7 at half time.

Stanford started to place pressure on the Basildon scrum in the second half. Stanford now had ball to feed their dangerous backs and this resulted in Teddy Shaw scoring out wide. Connan Crowhurst was on fire converting again from a difficult angle. Within 5 minutes Stanford had scored again with Teddy Shaw using his power and speed to burst through with Connan Crowhurst completing his faultless kicking display by adding the extra 2 points. We then saw a sustained period of pressure where Basildon spent 7 minutes inside Stanford’s 22. Great defensive work from Stanford was eventually breached by Basildon to bring the score back to 28-12. The game flowed from end to end for the next period before with less than a minute to go Stanford made a mess of clearing the ball from the back of a scrum and Basildon pounced to conclude the scoring.

While the backs scored all the points the game was won due to the combined defensive efforts of the forwards and backs. Player of the match is shared by every one of the 22 who wore the Stanford shirt, a true team performance.

Stanford u13s (24) – Epping & Upper Clapton u13s (25)

Stanford u13s just miss out on Cup final win

U13 final Stanford narrowly lost this nail biter of a final 24- 25 to a good outfit from Epping/ Upper Clapton. It was peaks and troughs all game with one team taking the ascendancy and then the other, Stanford’s hearts were broken in the last minute when they won a scrum against the head 5m from their own try line, the backs got it wide to flyer Joe Harding, who evaded 3 tackles to race the full length to score under the posts only to be called back for a forward pass. It was a game worthy of a final and great credit must go to both teams.


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