Stags make heavy work of taming basement boys

Midlands 3 East (South) Daventry 7 Huntingdon Stags 33 STAGS got their season back on track after last week s debacle at Towcester with a less-than-convincing win at rock-bottom Daventry. Although Stags ran in five tries to the hosts single effort, the

Midlands 3 East (South)

Daventry 7 Huntingdon Stags 33

STAGS got their season back on track after last week's debacle at Towcester with a less-than-convincing win at rock-bottom Daventry.

Although Stags ran in five tries to the hosts' single effort, they were guilty of some shoddy play at times, resulting in misplaced passes and fragile handling.


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Matt Parle made his first start of the season at blind side flanker and Stags were quickly into their game when Ali Dunsdon picked a nice line from full-back to open the scoring on five minutes.

The home side barely got out of their own half in the first 20 minutes and further Stags scores seemed inevitable.

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From a Daventry point of view, it was all hands to the pumps as they performed some good last-ditch defending and were adept at lying over the ball and preventing quick release.

Two or three gilt-edged opportunities were spurned by the visitors as the final pass kept going astray and in only their second visit to the Stags 22 the hosts forced a five-metre scrum which Stags could not defend. The converted try left the half time score at 7-7.

One positive for the Stags was that the line out worked well throughout, winning their own ball and disrupting Daventry's.

The set scrum remained solid and Damien Whales was identifying and exploiting gaps with defence-splitting runs to set up Stags' second try from Ben Strangeways and their fourth, from Neil Welsh.

In between, Welsh did all the work for the third try, intercepting a pass on Daventry's 10 metre line and outpacing the cover to score.

Simon Leader, whose strong runs had threatened all afternoon, forced his way over from a few yards out for his eighth try of the season, just on the final whistle. Whales converted four of the five tries to bring his season's points total to 143.

* Stags face league leaders Leighton Buzzard at Hinchingbrooke on Saturday - kick-off is at 2.15pm.

* Stags U11s played two games against Northampton Old Scouts, winning one game 28-14 but losing the other 14-7. Bob Stocker scored two tries while Jack Lewsley, George Furbank and Charles Saunders also crossed the line.

KIERAN O'Connell, pictured, was among the try scorers for St Neots Colts but couldn't prevent his side slipping to a 27-24 defeat against Stamford.

Charlie Usher added to O'Connell's brace of tries while Josh Liddle converted all three tries and added a drop goal but Stamford stole the victory with a fine try.

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