Stags carry on their charge
Stevenage Town 22 Hampstead 10 Promotion-chasing Stevenage Town won the points against relegation threatened Hampstead in a fierce contest. Notable performances came from Town s South East divisional player Ian Crompton, who finished with two tries, while
Stevenage Town 22 Hampstead 10
Promotion-chasing Stevenage Town won the points against relegation threatened Hampstead in a fierce contest.
Notable performances came from Town's South East divisional player Ian Crompton, who finished with two tries, while centre Peter Smith showed great resilience and power in defence.
Stags started the game playing up the hill with a light following breeze, and straight from the off forced errors from Hampstead.
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Good ball retention by the pack allowed the ball to be mauled up the pitch where the outstanding Gareth Roberts managed to break up the blindside to score close to the corner. Gareth Lewis added the extra points.
Hampstead kicked off and the ball was gathered by the forwards and then kicked back into opposition territory who again conceded possession.
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The pack again retained possession well and managed to create space for scrum-half Crompton to race away from the defence and score. Lewis again added the conversion.
The remainder of the half saw little fluency from either side. Hampstead never seemed likely to break through the defence and anything over the top was well covered by stand-in full-back Gary Trewartha.
This meant the only other scores were easy penalties converted by Lewis and the Hampstead kicker.
Town turned round 17-3 up at half-time into a stronger breeze and the sun but with the advantage of the slope.
Hampstead battered away at the defensive line only to be repelled by the Stevenage defence.
Eventually Stevenage won good ball from the scrum.
The impressive Crompton made an audacious break from inside his own half, sidestepping the back row, full-back and covering defence, before out sprinting everybody else to score in the corner. The conversion into the wind was just short from Lewis.
Hampstead did not give up and after some sustained pressure, Richard Penny was sin binned for being marginally offside.
Stevenage soaked up some constant pressure before Hampstead managed to create an overlap and become the first team to score a try against the Stags in three games which was also converted.
The rest of the game was error strewn with the opportunity for extra scores missed by Town.
Stags face Old Albanians, two leagues above in London One, at home this Sunday in the semi-finals of the county cup (2pm ko at North Road).
* Datchworth suffered a heavy away defeat in the same division, going down by 58 points at London New Zealand.