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Battling Stafford 1st XV lose out to Bridgnorth

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 25, 2014

By Dave McLean

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Stafford 1st XV 10 Bridgnorth 1st XV 30

THE second day of spring brings sun, showers and a long afternoon of frustrating rugby.

Stafford played their penultimate home game of the season against a travelling Shropshire side making the short journey across the border.

The weather was unsettled with periods of cold driving rain and watery sunshine providing the backdrop for a challenging afternoon.

Stafford put early pressure on the visitors striking deep into opposition territory. They were rewarded for their hard work when a penalty allowed Rich Martin to grab the first points of the game.

Bridgnorth struck back with ferocious forward play, crossing the line in the corner for an unconverted try and a small lead.

The match became an end to end encounter as both teams grappled to gain an advantage. Stafford looked the more likely to score when Bridgnorth were presented with a yellow card, reducing them to 14 players.

The home side were starting to struggle with the visitors scrum, Bridgnorth taking advantage to widened the lead with a penalty and further try as the half drew to a close.

Stafford went into half time trailing by 13-3, but having played some competitive periods of rugby and definitely in touching distance of the travellers.

The second half opened with Bridgnorth bringing a torrent of pressure and Stafford struggling to contain the opposition forwards.

A third Bridgnorth try saw the game slipping away from the home side and a yellow card added to the problems leaving Stafford with 14 on the pitch. A further try from the visitors secured the bonus point for the travelling Shropshire team.

Stafford would not lie down and their tenacious probing attacks were rewarded when Martin slipped in between the defenders to get the only home side try of the afternoon.

A late Bridgnorth try finished a frustrating afternoon of rugby for the Cathedral faithful. This Saturday Stafford take the short journey to face Staffordshire rivals Tamworth in the league (3pm).

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