Defeat leaves Stags pondering relegation

STAGS could be staring relegation from Midlands Two East South in the face unless they quickly turn around their ailing campaign.

STAGS could be staring relegation from Midlands Two East South in the face unless they quickly turn around their ailing campaign.

The weekend defeat against third-place Bugbrooke – their first reverse at the Racecourse this season — is sure to leave Stags asking themselves some serious questions.

There is now a clear split between the top six and bottom six clubs in the division, although one saving grace could be that Stags still have to play seven matches against fellow struggling teams, with the majority of their remaining games at home.

But they will need to put in better efforts in order to avoid the drop to Midlands Three come the end of the season.


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Coach Damian Whales said: “There was a brief two or three minute spell early on that was fantastic, but it was probably the only part of the game that all 15 players on the field were really up for it.

“We are gifting teams too many easy points each week.

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“Unfortunately we are not a team who will go and score 20, 30 or more points on very many occasions this season, so if we are going to win games we need to stem the flow of points to the opposition.”

The hosts handed Bugbrooke the initiative right from the off and an early conceded try meant they were playing catch up from the start.

However, they responded well and, after going through the phases from deep in their own territory, Heath Crawford scored near the posts for what was Stags’ best team try of the season to date, but which went unconverted.

But Stags then conceded two more tries and a penalty in relatively quick succession midway through the first half, although quickly hit back with a second try of their own – James Thorp crashing over and Matt Durrant converting.

Having been reduced to 13 men, the visitors still managed to add another score in the corner before the break, which deflated Stags and left them trailing 23-12 at the interval.

And two late Bugbrooke tries — one converted — gave the scoreline a more flattering look.

This weekend, Stags visit Stewarts & Lloyds who are one place above them in ninth.

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