STOURBRIDGE have taken over top spot in SSE National League Division Two North after taming Leicester Lions by a compelling 38-0 scoreline - writes NICK PULLEN
It was touch and go at one stage as to whether the game would take place at all after Lions objected to the state of Stour's pitch.
Ultimately a compromise was achieved with the game eventually taking place on the pitch nearest to the main road.
Stour had a driving wind at their backs for the first half and soon took advantage of the elements by pegging Lions back deep inside their own 22.
Lions defence was stretched to the limits as Stour set up a series of driving mauls, that soon drew repeated penalties.
The presure paid off after 10 minutes when Stour kicked into the corner where giant second row Robbie Hurrell won well taken line-out ball before Nigel Mukarati was driven over the line following a well worked routine which is fast becoming Mukarati's trade mark try.
Left wing Jamie Hearn kicked the resulting conversion to put Stour 7-0 ahead.
Lions then lost full back Adam Greendale to a straight red card on 15 minutes following a dangerous high tackle on scrum half Pete White.
Although White was able to continue, he had to be replaced for the second half by Sione Tu'ipulotu.
Despite dominating, Stour could only add one further try before half time, tight head prop Mike Hill picking up possession from a rolling maul and bulldozing his way over on the blindside to score with Hearn again adding the conversion.
Leading 14-0 at the break, Lions were then reduced to 13 players when flanker Drew Rudkin was shown a yellow card on 49 minutes for repeatedly infringing and Stour needed no second bidding to take advantage.
While Lions were reduced to 13, Stour ran in three tries, right wing Nathan Bressington bagging two of them while replacement No.8 Drew Harper, who came on for the impressive Chris Depper, snapped up a further score after stampeding his way through a now overstretched Lions defence.
Full back Tom Jarvis had the final say, scything his way through to score with the last move of the match, dotting down behind the posts before Hearn rounded off a satisfactory afternoon with the boot by banging over his fourth conversion.
Stour now take a week's break before resuming their campaign with a must-win match at Macclesfield on March 1st.
Stour: Jarvis; Bressington, Shillingford, Barkley, Hearn; Dipple, White;
George, Wright, Mike Hill; Dacres, Hurrell; Mukarati, Rodley, Depper.
Reps: Tuipulotu, James Hill, Harper, Garner, Sturdy.
Man of the match: Mike Hill