Town miss out on a play-off

Stevenage Town 46 Bank of England 19 IT was so near and yet so far for Stevenage Town in the London Three North West. Stags ensured it was just four league losses for the season as they beat the bottom side Bank of England but it was not enough to grab th

Stevenage Town 46

Bank of England 19

IT was so near and yet so far for Stevenage Town in the London Three North West.

Stags ensured it was just four league losses for the season as they beat the bottom side Bank of England but it was not enough to grab that elusive promotion play-off spot.

They went into the game needing to win by a huge margin and for Welwyn to slip up against Vauxhall Motors. Neither happened and so Stags will have to be content with third spot.

Town's flying winger Michael Wilson opened the scoring in the corner and his side quickly added a second.

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Gareth Lewis broke up the blindside from inside his own 22m line. Sidestepping two players, he fed Wilson who beat a couple of players then spread the ball out wide.

The ball moved through numerous hands before Tom Mellor managed to get close to the line and scored with the aid of some assistance for his debut try for the firsts.

Bank used their much larger pack to maul the ball over the line in the corner for a converted try.

Lewis was next to score for Town. Using Peter Smith as a decoy runner, he burst through the defence, fending off the tackle before sidestepping the full-back to score.

Bank replied again with a converted try to close to within a point.

As the half drew to a close, Town again surged forward. Good play from the forwards again created space and this time it was another maiden try scorer from the pack, Richard Penny, going over out wide.

This time the conversion hit the post to leave the score 20-14 at the change around.

The lead was soon extended as Wilson showed his pace and rounded the defence from inside his own half to score under the posts and to make the conversion easy.

From the kick-off, Stevenage won good ball and used the forwards to good effect. Creating space again in the middle, Town spread the ball wide to Wilson who again left the defence for dead to score in the corner.

Stags moved the ball around with ease and Lewis chipped over for Wilson to collect. Half tackled, he offloaded to scrum-half Ian Crompton who beat one man before passing back to Lewis. Collecting the ball low, Lewis beat the remaining defenders to score under the posts for an easy conversion.

Again the impressive forwards won good ball for the backs who spread it wide. This time Crompton broke away before cheekily dodging the last defender to score under the posts for another easy conversion.

Both teams had a man sent to the sin bin and Bank managed to exert some late pressure. This finally told when they scored out wide.

Town now look forward to their Herts Presidents' Cup final against Hertford, a team three leagues higher, at Croxley Green on Sunday.

Coach Terry Penny should receive praise for finishing third in the league on points difference and a second successive cup final appearance.

With five colts in the side and more talented and motivated youngsters coming through plus a place in the national cup tournament next year, the future looks promising indeed.

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