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Close call for Stanford RFC in clash
5:00am Friday 5th October 2012 in Sport
RUGBY: STANFORD endured another tough test when they hosted Ilford Wanderers, who had put 56 points on them last season.
Stanford started the game with intent and determination. After just four minutes Stanford’s Callum Reid was just marginally wide with a penalty but both teams were playing on the edge and were caught encroaching offside. The penalty count against both side rose quickly. Only minutes later Stanford found themselves five metres out from the Ilford line.
Flanker Gary Burke thought he saw a gap to exploit but Ilford matched the attack. And Tight head prop James Hunter picked up from the back of the ruck but again was stopped inches short.
In the 34th minute Stanford earned a penalty chance and this time Reid was accurate.
In the second half Ilford started strongly and pushed Stanford back into their own half, but Stanford’s defence hit back and wing Jamie Evans made a strong run and he found Aaron Smith who touched down under the posts. Reid stepped up and added the extra 2 points giving Stanford the lead.
But when open side flanker Dean Barter was deemed to have come off his feet in a ruck he was yellow carded. And 14 man Stanford scored twice to take the score to 14-10 with 20 minutes left to play.
To add more pressure on themselves Aaron Payne was quite rightly binned for a late tackle on the Ilford wing so Stanford found themselves down again. Back to full strength with only five minutes to go Stanford were still looking for the win. They took advantage of the new substitution law when Stephen McWilliams at loose head prop pulled up with a thigh strain, which meant Hunter returned to the field of play. With only minutes to go Murphy picked and drove through two Ilford backs to set the ball down for the five points. But Reid’s kick was just agonisingly short and Ilford took the win by a margin of two points.