OLD SALTLEIANS 1st XV vs STAFFORD 1st XV. 22ND APRIL 2017. LEAGUE MATCH.
Stafford can’t find their way to victory as Watton Lane remains a barren hunting ground for the travelling County Town team.
Old Saltleians 64 – 7 Stafford
Stafford travelled to Water Orton for the final league game of the season. The County Town team travelled needing to earn all five points and huge favour from their Shropshire neighbours to secure league safety.
The home side opened the game with a period of play which saw the first try of the match earning an early lead. Stafford produced some positive rugby, finding their way into the opposition half and testing a well organised defence. The home side remained fully in control and a devastating series of attacks found three more tries, securing the try bonus point. Stafford’s afternoon continued to deteriorate when Dean Fuggle was side-lined with an injury and a yellow card reduced the visitors to a temporary fourteen on the pitch. Old Salts took advantage to score their fifth try of the afternoon and close a difficult half for the visitors. Stafford went into half time trailing by 40 – 0 and looking for a way back into a hard game of rugby.
Old Salts opened the second half with their sixth try of the afternoon but Stafford responded with some good attacking rugby and with fifteen back on the pitch, started to gain hard earned territory. An injury to Louis Dewsbury disrupted the flow and a clinical home side struck for their seventh try of the afternoon. Stafford had their first piece of luck of the afternoon when a vigilant Eneriko Apimeleki intercepted a ball and raced away to score a try for the visitors, converted by Rich Martin. Two more home side tries added to the sizeable lead, but a yellow card then reduced Old Saltleians to fourteen on the pitch. Seizing their opportunity Stafford combined driving play with a flowing passing game to batter their way to the opposition line. As the defence started to creak, Rich Martin chipped ahead and chased the ball across the line for a likely try. In an unsavoury incident, an Old Salts player cynically bought the flying Stafford player to the ground. An ensuing red card reduced the home side to thirteen on the pitch and with only a few minutes left on the clock the referee called an unfortunate early halt to the game.