Platinum - Coopers Recycling
Sat 21
1st XV
17
-
13
Cup
Dronfield
STAFFORD 1ST XV vs DRONFIELD 1ST XV. 21ST SEPTEMBER 2019. MIDLANDS INTERMEDIATE CUP ROUND 2.

STAFFORD 1ST XV vs DRONFIELD 1ST XV. 21ST SEPTEMBER 2019. MIDLANDS INTERMEDIATE CUP ROUND 2.

By Steven McLuckie
Share via
FacebookTwitter
https://www.pitchero.com/clubs

The Midlands Cup ends in a narrow win for Stafford as the hosts battle their way through a testing match against a strong Dronfield XV.


Stafford welcomed Dronfield to Castle Fields for the second round of the intermediate cup. Both teams came into the encounter after securing maximum points in the opening league games of 19/20. The visitors travelled with a good pedigree after making it into the play off places at the end of the previous season.

The game started frantically with Stafford fumbling the opening catch, but it was immediately tidied up by an alert Jerry Qasenivalu who took the opportunity to tear past the settling defence. Only a solitary final player managed to grab the shirt and wrestle the attacker to the floor within touching distance of the line. A subsequent penalty could have given the home side the lead but it spiralled off to one side of the posts. Dronfield responded by driving the ball up the pitch creating some good phases of play and securing territory. The momentum was bought to an abrupt halt when a prowling Oscar Saunders intercepted the ball and ran half the length of the pitch for the opening try of the game, converted by Dan Mills. The visitors continued to fight hard playing the game in the Stafford half for long periods, the pressure eventually produced a Dronfield penalty which flew wide of the upright, but as the tussle continued a second penalty found its mark to put points on the board for the Derbyshire XV. The game resumed with some slick Stafford play which battered the Dronfield defence and a lung bursting charge by Callum Jones took some heroic tackling to prevent a second try. Building on the momentum the ball was shipped up and down a threating Stafford line before an errant visiting hand clumsily slapped down one of the passes, incurring a yellow card to reduce Dronfield to a temporary fourteen on the pitch. The away team defended strongly and endured the ferocity of the attack creating the room for the clearance. An alert Quade Boal charged down the attempted kick and chasing through stretched out to touch the ball for a try, converted by Dan Mills. With a full compliment back on the pitch the visitors wrestled their way back into the match. An over enthusiastic clear out led to Oscar Saunders being led off the pitch injured and a phase later Stafford were temporarily reduced to fourteen through a yellow card. Stafford went into half time leading by 14-3 but with the game being hotly contested by both teams.

With the Stafford number ten off permanently, the home side had to reshuffle players to cover the position. Roaring into the second half, the county town team crashed through Dronfield to earn a penalty which Dan Mills slotted through the posts to establish a clear two try lead. Dronfield ate into the lead with a penalty of their own before Stafford were back up to a full fifteen on the field. The game settled into some brutal periods of play which left players from both sides strewn across the pitch. The visitors started to get the better of the play, with the clock ticking into the last quarter of the match, a series of crippling attacks drove the ball over in the corner for a converted Dronfield try and a nervous finish for the hosts. A strong Dronfield surge in the last ten minutes could have snatched a winning score, but ferocious Stafford defence repelled anything thrown against it and the lines were cleared. The remainder of the game was played in the middle of the field as both sides contested strongly. Passions boiled over in the final minutes, earning Stafford a second yellow of the game, but the clock was against the visitors and the referees whistle soon sounded to signal the end of an exhausting game.

Share via
FacebookTwitter
https://www.pitchero.com/clubs

Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Sep 2019

Kickoff

15:00