SHREWSBURY 2ND XV vs STAFFORD 2ND XV. 16TH MARCH 2019. LEAGUE MATCH.
By Steven McLuckie
Stafford fight their way to another league win.
A determined Stafford 2's squad travelled to Shrewsbury yesterday afternoon to play a re-arranged merit league fixture. A good mixture of youth & experience was in evidence and on the day worked in the favour of the visitors.
The first half saw Stafford playing into the strong gusty wind and after repelling early Shrewsbury pressure worked their way into the opposition territory. Quick ball from a ruck gave skipper Dave Wareham some space to run at the opposition full back who bought the shimmy allowing the captain to score under the posts, converted by Josh Arnold. The visitors tails were up forcing Shrewsbury into errors, one of which allowed Matt Smith the chance to carve his way over the whitewash, Josh Arnold converting. Shrewsbury came back into the match with a try of their own. Good Stafford player saw the ball being gathered in by Josh Arnold who did very well to draw in a defending chaser, before offloading to Sam Chatfield who thundered up the touchline for 50 metres - before offloading to his twin brother who ran in - and over - the last Shrewsbury defender. Shrewsbury scored a converted try so the half ended 12- 19 to Stafford.
With the wind at our backs, we expected to be playing the 2nd half in Shrewsbury's half. Shrewsbury had other ideas and pinned us back for the majority of the 2nd half, but all their possession only rewarded them with a single try. Stout defence and some ferocious tackling, most notably from Wilko, kept the Shrews from scoring. Near the end, we managed to get the ball and Tom Windibank ran in out wide to make the final score 24 - 17 in Stafford's favour.
The match was played in a good spirit and was well controlled by the N Mids referee. Every player agreed it was one of the more enjoyable matches of this season. Well done all.