Whales miss leaves Stags frustrated

AFTER nearly 80 minutes of gripping rugby, Damien Whales stood over a conversion kick knowing that the kick would secure a fine win for Stags.

Market Harborough 23-22 Huntingdon Stags

AFTER nearly 80 minutes of gripping rugby, Damien Whales stood over a conversion kick knowing that the kick would secure a fine win for Stags.

But his kick, from near the touchline, agonisingly missed its target – leaving the Stags to rue what could have been.

Despite the disappointment, Whales was upbeat about his team’s performance. He said: “We have really stepped things up in the last two weeks. I challenged our squad’s mental toughness in recent weeks and on Saturday we played with real composure, especially when the chips were down.


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“It was a different feeling with five minutes to go as we were playing in a calm manner while the opposition were panicking.

“In the past it almost definitely would have been us losing our heads.”

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Both teams exchanged early penalty goals, and Stags scored the first try as Ali Dunsdon chased down a kick by Steven Chantler to score.

Stung into action, Harborough hit back hard to score a converted try and two penalties before Whales added a further penalty before the break.

His trusty boot reduced the deficit early on in the second spell with a third penalty goal but Harborough responded with a try.

A late surge gave Stags a sniff of an away win, as Whales kicked his fourth penalty, and a slick lineout move saw second-rower Dougy Bentley crash over on 78 minutes. The try brought Stags to within a point of their opponents, but Whales could not add the crucial two points needed for victory.

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