Stourbridge 31, Loughborough Students 20

STOURBRIDGE made a winning start to the new season, powering their way to a five-try bonus point victory over Loughborough Students.

But it was a tense tussle and the Stourton Park side needed a try from scrum-half Joe Heatley - his second of the game - to wrap things up three minutes from time.

Heatley claimed the opener on four minutes, falling on the ball after the scrum had driven the visitors back over the try-line.

Dan Kelly replied four minutes later before two tries from the hosts handed Stourbridge a 14-point lead - winger Dan Rundle broke through on 11 minutes before George Morgan added another in the corner.

But as half-time approached it was the visitors who upped their game with Owen Waters kicking a penalty and then William Kaye scoring at the foot of the post after gathering his own kick ahead.

Stourbridge second row Nick Murphy was binned on the stroke of half-time and it needed solid defending from the hosts to hold on to their slender advantage at the start of the second period.

Murphy then scored the bonus try just before the hour mark only for Loughborough winger Bamidele Fadahunsi to close the gap to 26-20 with 15 minutes to go.

After a nerve-jangling few minutes it was Heatley who wrapped up the win when he scored a 60-metre breakaway try three minutes from the end.