Stow hit by another narrow rugby defeat

First published in Sport

STOW-on-the-Wold Rugby Club lost their fourth game this season by three points or less after a 12-10 home defeat to Wallingford in Southern Counties North.

The visitors seemed better prepared with the Cotswold side failing to take advantage of the elements in the first-half.

Fourth-from-bottom Wallingford's big pack caused problems for Stow, whose backs received little ball which limited their scoring chances.

With a strong wind, Stow should have been camped on the visitors' line but handling errors and lost possession cost ground.

The visitors opened the scoring after pressure led to their first real chance resulting in a try.

Alex Kelly kicked a penalty to put sixth-placed Stow on the scoreboard but, as half-time loomed, they knew they had to up their game.

A reshuffle up front saw the hosts compete in the tight and start to provide ball but they were 5-3 down at the break.

Stow started the second-half well with their forwards making ground and keeping the ball tight in the sticky conditions.

From sustained pressure, Craig Chapman picked up from number eight and drove within inches of the line before fly-half Geoff Flather scored with Kelly converting.

Stow continued to control the game and thought they had done enough to see out the win.

But Wallingford had other ideas and Stow were penalised with the wind against them.

Chances to turn over possession were missed and the defensive line rushed out, leaving the Oxfordshire outfit a gap which they gratefully accepted to score under the posts.

The conversion ensured Stow lost the game and they were left feeling flat. They will have to up their game at Milton Keynes on Saturday.


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