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Dacres delivers but Stour surrender top spot
8:11pm Saturday 19th October 2013 in Stourbridge RFC
SSE National League Two North:
Stourbridge 7, Sedgley Park 0
STOUR snatched victory from this war of attrition with Sedgley Park which ultimately cost them top spot in the table.
For the second week running, Stour were never in sight of a bonus point win as defensive play dominated from the word go. - writes Nick Pullen
The match boiled down to one bit of quick thinking from second row player Nile Dacres which was to prove decisive.
Stour began brightly enough, pegging Sedgley Park back deep inside their own 22 with a series of pick up and drives.
But all their early pressure was to prove unrewarded when they lost possession right in front of the posts.
Sedgley Park responded with a spell of their own pressure which was finally relieved by a fabulous clearence kick from scrum half Sione Tuipulotu, who sent the Manchester side scurrying back deep inside their own 22.
It was from this platform that Stour secured the only score of the game on 19 minutes.
Determined Dacres spotted a gap in the Sedgley Park defence as he gathered from a loose maul and launched himself over for a try from close range, which left wing Jamie Hearn converted.
That was it as far as the scoring was concerned.
Sedgley Park should have narrowed the gap six minutes later when Stour were penalised for offside on their own 22.
Park fly half Steve Collins was presented with a straightforward penalty shot at goal, but somehow fired wide.
For the remainder of the game, play degenerated into a drab affair which wasn't helped by fussy referee Thomas Davis who never really allowed the game to flow.
Consequently, the contest became a stop-start affair, with few chances.
The quality of play was hampered further following continual rain throughout the second half.
It made the ball become the proverbial bar of soap as both sides were repeatedly quilty of knocking on.
In truth, this was never going to be a high scoring contest against two well matched sides, although Stour definitely had the edge in scrums and began to push Sedgley Park backwards as the game progressed, although on most occasions, it was never to referee Davis's satisfaction
Consequently this game was never destined to be a classic.
Stourbridge: Jarvis; Farrington, Shillingford, Barkley, Hearn; Dipple, Tuipulotu; Hill (Sturdy 48), Wright (Page 56), George; Dacres (Hughes 48), Hurrell; Mukarati, Uzoigwe, Depper. Not used: White, Lawrenson.
Star man Sione Tuipulotu
Next fixture: Chester (A) Oct 26