STAFFORD 1st XV secured a place in round three of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday, running out worthy 28-21 victors at Nottingham Casuals.
The visitors, although hit by injury and other commitments, dominated long spells of the game and early play saw them driving deep into their opponents half.
After the Casuals countered, Stafford responded and gained three successive penalties, the third of which was kicked successfully by Matty Walklate.
Stafford continued to dictate play, but a Casuals breakaway resulted in a try.
Shortly afterwards, Stafford hit back with an unconverted try from Mark Broomhall. Just before the break, Walklate kicked another penalty to make it 11-5 at tbe interval.
In the second period, Casuals showed more determinaton and cut the deficit with a penalty, only for Stafford to respond with an converted score from Broomhall, for his second of the game.
The visitors continued to find space and a neat switch between forward and back play kept Casuals on the defensive.
A fine solo effort from Walklate, who chipped forward and stepped between two opponents, saw him catch his own kick and race over for Stafford’s third try - and he added the conversion.
However, Casuals were not finished and they finally began to stretch Stafford, running in two unconverted tries to cut the deficit to five points.
However, when Stafford started to reassert themselves, Casuals incurred two successive yellow cards, reducing the ranks to 13 players and Chris Upsher ran in Stafford’s final try.
A late penalty from the home side was the only reply as Stafford marched into round three.
This Saturday, fifth place Stafford entertain unbeaten leaders Wolverhampton at Castlefields. Wolves currently lead the Midlands 2 West (North) table by four points from Moseley Oak.