SAINTS strengthened their grip on fifth spot in the table ahead of local rivals St Ives after beating ninth-placed Stamford College Old Boys at home on Saturday.

Midlands Four East South

St Neots 40 Stamford College Old Boys 10

SAINTS strengthened their grip on fifth spot in the table ahead of local rivals St Ives after beating ninth-placed Stamford College Old Boys at home on Saturday.

A series of errors presented the visitors with an opportunity to score an early try, but home hooker Phil Sandling was soon going over for his second try in as many games to level the scoreboard.

Back-row forward Lewis Hall then took Saints ahead, but lack of direction and a last minute penalty to Stamford meant that Saints were only two points ahead, 12-10, at the break.

A rejuvenated home side reappeared for the second half and soon got the scoreboard ticking again when, after picking up from the back of a scrum just outside the Stamford 22, the forwards created a rolling maul.

Lock Rhodri Howcroft, who spotted a gap, peeled off the back and slipped effortlessly through the remaining Stamford defenders to score untouched.

Fly-half Adam Porter and Adam Peel combined in midfield for Peel to carve a typical line through the defenders to score under the post from 30 meters out.

Then, five minutes later, they combined again in a similar move and Peel's second score moved Saints further away from their opposition.

There was still time for Will Hall to take advantage after a Stamford attack broke down on the halfway line, picking up the spilled ball and outpacing the Stamford defenders for a well deserved try.

Porter successfully kicked four conversions while Lewis Hall added another.

This weekend, second-place Stamford are Neots' visitors.