STAFFORD Colts XV have won through to this season’s Staffordshire Plate final.
In a last-four tie at Tamworth on Sunday, Stafford ran out 22-12 winners to set up a final clash against Wolves or Walsall, at Newcastle (Staffs) on Aril 25 or 26.
Stafford started strongly pinning Tamworth in their own half only to be denied points by handling errors and missed overlaps.
It was 15 minutes into the game before some great forward drives and fast ball from rucks released the Stafford back line to put fly half Scott Redden over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Tamworth attacked from the restart and were soon awarded a penalty within kicking range, but this fell short and Stafford used the advantage of the wind to push the home side back into their own half.
With the Stafford forwards totally dominating the set pieces and the back row marshalled by captain Tom Bell, getting the better of the breakdowns the visitors remained camped in the opposition 22.
With the amount of good ball being won by the forwards it was only a matter of time before the Stafford backs were released again and it was James Wilson who galloped over and touched down under the posts for a try converted by Cal Heath.
Tamworth once again came back strongly from the restart putting Stafford under pressure and testing the defence. The visitors began to give away penalties and it was from one of these that Tamworth found a gap and scored a converted try to finish the first half 12-7 down.
A few half time changes saw Stafford begin to dominate the scrum and with Cal Lennon’s line-out skills Tamworth were finding it hard to win any clean ball. A powerful scrum in the home 22 allowed Dean Ainger to find space to score an unconverted try.
Tamworth began to really dig deep but were living off very scrappy ball and once again it was the visitors ill-discipline that gave Tamworth an attacking platform for them to pull back an unconverted try.
It was at this point that the Stafford forwards domination and fitness really began to tell and it was prop forward, and man of the match, Nathan Cyster who received the ball out wide and showed great pace and strength to barge his way through the defence to score the last try of the match.