Away win takes Stow to the top of the table
12:30pm Monday 29th October 2012 in Sport
Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier.
Phoenix 0 Stow 14.
A GREAT all-round team performance by a much-changed Stow side saw them climb to the top of the table.
Stow won a crucial toss to take advantage of the strong northerly wind blowing down the slope at Taplow and from that point didn't miss a tackle nor did they refuse to give an inch.
The visitors found it difficult to break down the home defence until they were awarded a penalty after 21 minutes, in front of posts and 15 yards out.
Instead of 'kicking the three', Stow's Hugo Griffiths had other ideas, going for a quick tap, breaking through three tackles and touching down for a seven-pointer which was converted by Nick Cafearo.
Stow forwards continued to win good breakdown ball and with four minutes to half-time, back Jamie Holmes got to within two yards of the line. The Stow forwards were there first, secured the ball and Andrew Piercy drove over for a well-worked try, followed by a great conversion by Cafearo.
Stow took the game to their opponents despite facing the wind in the second half and camped on their line for ten minutes without scoring.
Stow then had to resist 13 minutes of relentless pressure by Phoenix thanks to some superb tackling, finally taking a scrum against the head to clear their lines. A real turning point.
Into the last quarter and Stow's forwards were dominating in the rucks and mauls, with the defence of the backs was heroic.
Stow were fitter, more determined, and finished the game much the stronger team.