Stags’ final bid

Ruislip 15 Stevenage Town 17 Stags bid for a place in the Herts Presidents Cup final this weekend. They are away at Tabard in the semi-finals on Sunday. Saturday s result may not have been a game for the armchair spectator but this had everything for tho

Ruislip 15 Stevenage Town 17

Stags bid for a place in the Herts Presidents' Cup final this weekend.

They are away at Tabard in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Saturday's result may not have been a game for the armchair spectator but this had everything for those who braved the elements on the touchline.

Stags started well and Michael Wilson was unfortunate not to score from a 60-yard run early on.

The home side then intercepted a pass to run in a try from the halfway line and added the conversion.

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From then on, no quarter was asked or given in this mid-table battle of attrition. Past Stevenage sides would have given in to this intimidation but the current players are made of tougher stuff and matched their opponents in every aspect of the game.

With the numbing conditions not helping handling, Stags were unable to convert some good positions into points.

Well-organised defence from both sides left little room in a congested midfield, and a few penalties were exchanged, each side scoring one, to provide a half time score of 10-3.

The home side started strongly in the second half, and following a move from a scrum, the winger scored a try in the corner to create a 12-point lead.

Stags were not about to give up their winning run and took the game back to their opponents with the front five doing their share of ball carrying.

After 15 minutes Stags won good lineout ball 22m out.

Neil Bamber drove at the heart of the defence and after good hands Gareth Lewis forced his way over for a try that he also converted.

Stags continued to defend well but had to wait until the 37th minute to break the Ruislip line again.

This came from a catch and drive at the lineout. The ball was released in good time to move through the backs and allow Lewis to beat the defence and run in under the posts. He added a conversion to secure the lead and bring his personal tally to 17 points.

Town withstood an onslaught to take away a notable win and stretch their winning run to eight games.

All the team put their bodies on the line with debutants Richard Penny and Stephen Hayes having a tough yet satisfying introduction to league rugby.