STAGS kept their hopes of a top six finish alive with a comprehensive victory over sixth-placed Old Scouts at the Racecourse on Saturday.

Midlands Two East South

Huntingdon Stags 25 Northampton Old Scouts 7

STAGS kept their hopes of a top six finish alive with a comprehensive victory over sixth-placed Old Scouts at the Racecourse on Saturday.

The hosts started the match brightly and were 5-0 up after only two minutes, when James Turner went over to score after a strong run downfield from James Thorp.

With the wind in their sales, Stags continued to press into Scouts territory for the next 10 minutes.

And, after several phases of pick-and-go rugby by the host pack, Thorp went over for a try that will be remembered, not for flair, but for patience and teamwork. Mat Durrant missed the conversion.

The match, which was largely played in good spirits, was somewhat marred by each team receiving two yellow cards apiece for infringements around the breakdown.

However Stags did not let this slow them down, adding a penalty goal and a try to Murphy Hill, converted by Durrant, to go into the break 20-0 up.

Stags were only able to add one further try to their tally in the second half – scored by Ali Dunsdon - but this effectively sealed the game and earned the four-try bonus point.

Scouts never put any great deal of pressure on the Stags line, but did manage to score a consolation try, when the home side tried to run out of their 22, only for Durrant to throw an intercepted pass to a Scouts winger, who went in untouched.

Huntingdon coach Damian Whales praised his side's performance – particularly the start they made.

He said: “In January and February we were starting our games well, but that deserted us through March, so it was really nice to get back in that habit.

“That first half was superb rugby. We outplayed them individually, but also as a team of 15.

“It probably isn't that fair to pick out individuals in a team performance like that, but Doug Bentley had his best game of the season.

“Hopefully we can carry this form into our remaining two fixtures.”

Stags can now enjoy another well-earned weekend off before heading to tackle Stockwood Park next Saturday - and will be looking to complete the double over the Luton outfit after a narrow 8-7 win earlier in the campaign.

The final match of the season is on Saturday, April 16 against Peterborough Lions at the Racecourse.

• STAGS U15s were unable to replicate the success of their U14 counterparts the week before as they went down to a heavy 67-5 defeat at Shelford in their Cambridgeshire County Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Alex Langford-Pollard got the only try for Huntingdon, which was unconverted.