WALLINGFORD 14 STOW 16
With the main pitch deemed to be unplayable by the referee the game was moved to a small junior pitch which was partially under water. An expansive game was going to be out of the question due to the width of the pitch and would suit the home sides larger pack. Stow started well with an early penalty from DAN ADAMS before Wallingford started to use their big runners up front. Stow defended well but sometimes tried to force it resulting in mistakes. Also with a strong wind behind them and on such a small pitch lost territory by kicking the ball dead. From a continued period of pressure Stow’s defense eventually cracked resulting in a converted try to the home side. Stow hit back, a quickly taken tap penalty gained good ground before a series of pick up and drives saw BEN COLLETT crash over, Dan Adams converted. Just before the break Wallingford regained the lead, pressure from the forwards ended with a penalty which was quickly taken, Stow did well to initially hold the attack up but then conceded a second converted try leaving them down 10 -14 at the break and facing the elements in the second half.
The second half saw a near master class from Stow on how to play in such dreadful conditions, they defended well and soaked up pressure which forced mistakes giving them the opportunity to clear their lines. They worked hard for territory then managed a good sustained period of pressure. Wallingford conceded a penalty only 15 meters out but with the very strong wind kicking would be a lottery but GUS HAYWARD managed to slot the points leaving Stow just the one point down. Stow continued to defend brilliantly and take any chances they had, GUS HAYWARD kicked his second tricky penalty to edge Stow ahead. From the restart Stow were penalized, but luckily the penalty attempt ended up nearer the corner flag. Another penalty was conceded which bizarrely Wallingford elected to take the scrum, Stow then held out for the final five minutes by retaining possession to take the win. Both sides can take credit for some clever rugby in horrendous conditions.
Next week (hopefully a bit drier) Stow entertain league leader Witney, kick off 2.30 pm