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Stafford into Vase final - but agony for Eccleshall

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: March 15, 2012

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STAFFORD’S U17s are through to the Staffs Vase Final after demolishing Leek 53-0 But Eccleshall suffered heartbreak when they lost out in their respective semi final by the narrowest of margins.

Stafford's strength in the backs resulted in an early try for winger Toby Brassington quickly followed by some good linking play between scrum half Macawley Blencow and stand-off Tim Greatholder, eventually resulting in a try for Greatholder.

Continued pressure from Stafford led to a penalty from which forward Laurence Hobbs broke through to score under the posts.

With the sun at their backs and the slope in their favour Stafford obviously wanted to take full advantage which they did with another well practised backs move, with Greatholder and Callum Collins looping to provide an overlap for Jack Churchyard to run in the first of his two tries.

Stafford continued to pile on the pressure via the forwards who forced their way towards the Leek try-line and despite spirited defence by Leek the pressure proved too powerful and wing forward Joel Stone went over to score.

Leek started the second period well having the elements in their favour but Stafford soon regained control. Nathan White scored his first try for the club, quickly followed by his second.

Leek battled to the end but Stafford centre James Atkinson scored a breakaway try in the last few minutes to complete the rout.

Eccleshall were drawn against Wolverhampton in their semi final and a close contest of even defence on both sides tested the forwards in the scrum and the backs in the open field.

Eccleshall produced the best start they had had all season and their confidence grew as they found they were playing their own game.

Captain Sam Parr converted an early penalty to put the visitors on the scoreboard. This was followed by a storming try from Phil James, converted by the captain.

Wolves responded with a host of phases that gave them a man wide, who scored a try in the corner.

Another try from Wolves brought the scores even at 10-10.

The second half produced a couple of missed opportunities by Eccleshall as they camped in the Wolves half with several penalties to their benefit, then Ollie Jones saw a chance and put the side ahead but the conversion attempt failed.

The final 10 minutes provided some of Eccleshall’s best rugby of the season but concerted effort in attack from Wolves brought the score to 15 points apiece, with the conversion again missed.

However Wolverhampton had done enough as a draw in a semi is decided by the number of tries scored and the place in the final went to Wolverhampton 3-2 on tries.

The final is to be held on March 25 at St Leonards RUFC.

lEccleshall U15s hosted local rivals Newcastle in a friendly game and lost narrowly, by 22-17 - almost snatching a winning try in the last seconds of the game.

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