STAFFORD 1st XV got 2013 off to a winning start with a dominant performance at Veseyans last Saturday.
Speedy Stafford passing proved too much for the home side and Johnny Watson Jones skipped through a scrambling defence for the first try of eight for the visitors.
Veseyans quickly responded with a try of their own, but relentless Stafford attack battered their opposite numbers and a Matty Walklate penalty took the visitors back into the lead. Veseyans took their opportunities when they could and
a penalty saw them draw level. The Stafford pack fell into a familiar
role as they bullied their way back up the pitch and desperate defending could not prevent Richie Watling from punching through for a second try.
Veseyans managed to score another penalty to cut the deficit, but slick Stafford hands allowed Johnny Watson Jones to dance across the line for the final try of the half and an 18-11 lead.
There was a lively start from Veseyans at the start of the second half, but Stafford were not in any mood to let the opposition build any momentum and a well practice move from the scrum saw Nick Oxley flying through to score the first try of the half and secure a bonus point for the visitors.
Stafford started to find more room and it was not long before Oxley ran onto a well-placed kick to score another try, Watson Jones adding to the tally with the conversion.
Veseyans continued to chase the game and two successful penalties helped to bring them back into the contest.
However, the Stafford back line were having an inspired afternoon and, showing why they should be feared, Oxley clawed his way through for another try, converted by Watson Jones.
A Veseyans yellow card reflected the home side’s afternoon as they were reduced to 14 men. Stafford would not take their foot off the gas and good linking play saw Dan Smith scoring another try, again converted by Watson Jones.
The final try of the game came courtesy of Vinnie Hogan as he completed a dominant performance in dying minutes.
This Saturday, Stafford entertain Old Saltleians (2.15pm).