Roberts at the double again in Stags win
Stevenage Town 15 Hampstead 13 Stags survived late scares to make it five wins in a row in this vital league encounter at North Road. Starting the day just below their opponents, Stags knew once again that only a win was good enough to go level with them
Stevenage Town 15 Hampstead 13
Stags survived late scares to make it five wins in a row in this vital league encounter at North Road.
Starting the day just below their opponents, Stags knew once again that only a win was good enough to go level with them in the London Three North West relegation scrap.
Hampstead made an emphatic start, collecting the kick off and forcing their way up the pitch. This was stopped illegally and the visitors were soon ahead from a penalty.
Stags missed the opportunity to level the scores two minutes later.
But almost immediately, Gareth Roberts picked up from the base of the scrum, made space and put Ian Crompton in for their first try.
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The game remained evenly poised, as Stags defended determinedly against the visiting forwards, until halfway through the half when they were disrupted by a series of injuries.
Town's second try resulted from good lineout play that allowed Gareth Lewis to break, giving Alex Willcox room to destroy the defence before in-form Roberts finished off the move.
Hampstead responded with sustained effort and pinned Stags in their own five metres.
After conceding two penalties, Stags were finally broken and the conversion equalled the scores (10-10).
Stags did not drop their heads and Michael Wilson soon made a devastating 40-yard break, only to be stopped close to the try line.
Stags were awarded a scrum from which Roberts once again scored after good handling.
The second half was frenetic and Stags gave away far too many penalties, one converted to bring the scores to within two points.
Stags had to dig even deeper when they were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. The well-drilled defence fought valiantly to maintain the lead, despite giving away two kickable penalties in the last minute.
They play at Harpenden this Saturday in another vital league clash.