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By Steven McLuckie

Stafford cement third & fifth position after three rounds of the touch series.

The South Staffordshire touch rugby tournament rolled into Essington last Friday night followed by a squad of Twenty-One members from Stafford rugby club. Establishing a small enclave, tactically placed at the foot of pitch 4, James van Nijkerk split the forces to assemble the Stafford Wasps & Bees. The players settled into the tournament to take on twelve other teams from Cannock, Essington, Rugeley, Walsall, Wheaton Aston and Penkridge.

Hydration was the order of the evening as the June summer sun slowly sank into a cooler night. After a couple of opening games, the Wasps and Bees were drawn against each other for the middle encounter of the tournament. A hugely competitive match ended in a well-deserved draw as the Bees managed to grab an equalising try in the final minutes. In another notable match Stafford Bees took on Cannock Lions. With a dwindling minute left on the clock, the game was edging towards a draw before an exuberant dog invaded the pitch, some parts of the Bees defence pulled up to avoid the darting canine and the Lions played to the whistle finding a gap for the winning try. The unharmed dog was reunited with its owner, one of the Cannock players, and apologised with licks to anyone within striking distance.

The evening ended in a well-earned joint fifth place for Stafford Bees & Wasps as they came through five exhausting games. A huge thank you to all players that turned out to make it a fun packed evening of social rugby. After three rounds the two Stafford teams proudly sit in the top five with the Bees in third place and the Wasps in fifth. A massive effort from all of the developing players to achieve the current position against the other fifteen teams some of whom have fielded a lot of experience and pace.

Stafford Wasps Team:
1. James van Nijkerk
2. Jocelyn Turner
3. Jo Taylor
4. Malcolm Heath
5. Mark Cooper
6. Mark Taylor
7. Megan Howe
8. Richard Baker
9. Sam Robbins
10. Steve McLuckie

Stafford Bees Team:
1. Ben Dodd
2. Cath Anthony
3. Chris Banton
4. Craig Hillman
5. Darren Roe
6. Gavin Hogan
7. James Brown
8. Joe Powell
9. Julia Purvis
10. Laura Banton
11. Marie Hillman

The next round of the tournament is at Rugeley RUFC on Friday 5th July. All players welcome or if you fancy a go at touch rugby it runs as a mixed session on a Wednesday night or ladies only on a Friday night. There is also a Ladies only tournament on Wednesday 3rd July at Longton RUFC.

Updated 11:38 - 30 Jun 2019 by Steven McLuckie

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