Stags came up against an extraordinarily strong Henley (er) III team on Saturday and the final score does not do justice to the balance of the match. Admitedly Henley were too strong for Stags, running in 7 tries, but there were parts of the game during which Stags were on top. The team got off to a flying start and for the first quarter of the game were camped almost exclusively in the opposition 22. Unfortunately they could not convert the pressure into points despite forcing a couple of five metre scrums, almost scoring on two occasions. It was from one of these attacking positions that Henley turned over the ball, broke out and scored their first try by running the entire length of the pitch. Stags then had to dig deep with Joseff Brown, Tom Cole, Seth Grieve, Christian Atkinson and Alex Sutton making good tackles. The home side's line out functioned well with Harry Waye Branch and his jumpers Ashley Doel, Jack Sherratt and man of the match Alex Hawthorn working closely to secure good ball for Stags. Adam Henderson had an effective debut at prop and it was also good to see Tommy Webster returning from injury and at one point securing a first class turnover. Alex Harris, Kieran Caulfield and George Robinson Slater made ground on a number of occasions and Joel Cripps' service from scrum half was very good.
Stags went into half time 15-0 down and the second half saw more good Stags defending. On one occasion, the ever improving Tom Kingston correctly decided to come in from his wing to make a tackle and Will Vaughan and Ben Sherratt seeing this instinctively covered effectively for the winger. Great decision making. Great team work. As full time approached Stags suffered a number of injuries but kept battling to the end.
Stags travel to Maidenhead on 6th April for their last game of the season.