STOURBRIDGE were left stunned by a home defeat to local rivals Luctonians after finishing second best in a bruising encounter.

A clash with Lucs is always hotly contested and the visitors brought a raucous band of travelling supporters to cheer on their team, who lay eight points behind the hosts in National League Two (north) before the early 2pm kick-off.

The start was intense from both sides, Stour’s Dan Rundle looked to be in for a try after five minutes but a poor pass was fumbled and the chance was lost.

The hosts had the best of the early exchanges, after 12 minutes a scrum on the Lucs’ line was driven over and Joe Collingham touched down.

The restart led to a fast and furious passage of play and after a missed penalty the visitors piled on the pressure.

A clever move in the middle opened up the home defence and Robert Lewis scored under the posts for a try that was converted by John Morris.

Both sides were hitting hard in the tackles, on 33 minutes Stour lost Hal Riley to a head injury.

Jack Lea looked to have scored for Stour but the ball was not grounded and another good opportunity on the line was lost after an infringement to make the half-time score 5-7.

Lucs looked stronger after the restart with territorial advantage and crisper passing.

Against the run of play Stour broke out and Dan Rundle ran forward to start a move which resulted in a try on the right for Reece Beddows.

Despite being behind the away team looked more dangerous and Stour were forced to defend their 22 metre line for long passages of play which seemed to sap their strength.

Beddows denied Francis Kelly with a try-saving tackle but another Lucs’ score looked ever-more likely.

Their pack began to dominate and on 69 minutes prop Callum Young benefitted from a drive over to score a try and Morris added the extras.

Despite a promising attack in the left corner in the dying seconds, Stour could not push through the opposing defence to snatch a win and the game finished 10-14.