AFTER two victories and the narrowest of defeats on the road in recent weeks, Huntingdon Stags approached their game against Northampton Old Scouts, a side that hadn’t won away all season, in a confident mood.

But, whether it was over-confidence – or other factors – Stags were brought sharply down to earth, losing this Midlands Two East South home game 16-32.

Club president Roy Shutz was disappointed afterwards, saying: “They started by committing almost every basic error in the book, allowing Scouts to go 14-0 up within 10 minutes with two straightforward converted tries.”

However, Stags slowly dragged themselves back into the game with George Woodruffe especially catching the eye and tries for Heath Crawford and Grant Hobbs – plus a Dan Malem penalty – giving them everything to play for in the second half.

But it was the Old Scouts who began the second period the better of the two sides with Stags’ support play failing and overlaps scorned in favour of unproductive contacts.

A penalty and a dropped goal made it 13-20 before Malem brought it back to 16-20 with 20 minutes to go.

Even that glimmer of hope was quickly extinguished when Stags were out-rucked and came a poor second in the kicking-out-of-hand exchanges. Wayne Bradley went off injured and a third Scouts try meant that the bonus point was out of reach.

Finally, and for the fourth match in succession, Stags conceded a try in the final play to give Scouts a bonus point of their own.

“This is a tight league where every point gained or lost is valuable – so this was an abject end to a disappointing afternoon,” added the president.

COMING soon in our December 28 Christmas edition: Chairman Mark Garrood will be talking about Huntingdon & District Rugby Club and his expectations for this season and the future.