RUGBY UNION Pre-season friendly Huntingdon Stags 9 Welwyn 7 STAGS enjoyed a narrow pre-season victory when they hosted Welwyn at Hinchingbrooke. Elliott Baldwin successfully converted a penalty kick early on to put the Stags 3-0 up and the home side continued to exert pressure on the Welwyn line but good defensive work kept them out. Despite losing a man to the sin bin, Stags managed to hold out and Baldwin successfully converted another penalty to put his side 6-0 ahead. The visitors started the second half in determined mood and were rewarded with a try which they duly converted but when Baldwin stepped up to land another penalty with less than five minutes to go, Stags held firm to record a 9-7 win. Stags II did not fare so well - going down 45-5 to Welwyn II, despite playing some good rugby being. Stags play their first Midlands 3 East (South) fixture of the new season against Leicester Forest on Saturday. Kick-off at Hinchingbrooke is at 3pm. Meanwhile, 17-year-old former Stags youth player Karl Smith is being sponsored by the club for his journeys to Northampton, where he plays in the academy. Karl, who is from Brampton and is a former Hinchingbrooke School pupil, has been with the club since he was 10 and was presented with a cheque at the junior section's first training session of the season at the weekend. Karl also presented Stags U13 player Kacey Nicholson, who has been invited to attend the East Midlands School of Rugby, with a pair of tickets to watch Northampton Saints in pre-season action. Karl said: "I wanted to reward Kacey for his passion of the game and I know how much I gained from encouragement at his age." *A mass balloon release will take place at 12.30pm on Sunday at Hinchingbrooke after the final mini-rugby session. The day is also bring-a-friend day at the club.