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Stafford Colts show power in county plate final

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

By Dave McLean

Stafford Colts show power in county plate final

Plate winners Stafford Colts

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Stafford Colts 26

Walsall Colts 19

THE future is bright as Stafford Colts brought home the spoils in a hotly contested final.

Stafford Colts travelled to Burton Rugby Club for their Staffordshire Plate final against Walsall Colts.

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The game began with a minute’s silence in memory of Stafford’s retired chairman of junior rugby, Brian Gayton, who died last week.

Both sides showing their intention to play fast running rugby from the start. Stafford nearly fell foul of a counter attack in the first few minutes, however their defence managed to hold firm.

Stafford struck back forcing a penalty which was kicked by Charlie Venables to give them the lead. From the restart Walsall used their big pack to pin Stafford in their own 22 but some great rucking by the Stafford pack released Venables on a jinking run from within his own half to score under the posts and he converted his own try to open up a decent lead.

Walsall hit back showing their forwards skill at the rolling maul from line outs and causing defensive problems for the Stafford pack. This soon paid off with a converted try to bite into the lead.

Stafford played periods of superb rugby and began to run everything at Walsall. A combination of slick handling by the Stafford team released winger Jordan Turner for an excellent try, converted by Venables for a 17-7 interval lead.

From the restart Stafford stuck to their plan of playing the game in the opposition half and managed to negate the Walsall rolling maul.

The Stafford forwards began to dominate the set pieces and cause Walsall to make defensive errors.

Soon a penalty led to another successful Venables kick to stretch the lead.

Stafford continued to pile on the pressure but a turn over ball and some sloppy defence allowed Walsall to break clear for another converted try and pull the lead back in.

Once again Stafford hit back and camped in the opponents 22 but Walsall held firm with some ferocious tackling, another infringement allowed Venables to capitalise with a penalty kick.

With 10 minutes remaining Stafford began to turn the screw forcing error after error out of the Walsall defence and soon Venables took his personal points tally to 21 with the final penalty of the afternoon.

With less than a minute of the match remaining Stafford let their concentration slip and Walsall went in for an unconverted try leaving the final score at Stafford 26 Walsall 19.

A few days later, Stafford rounded off their with a league match against play-off finalists Campb Hill but went down 14-5. George Morrison ran in an early Stafford try.

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