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Rugby Union: Toothless Stour waste game in hand; NATIONAL TWO Redruth 27 Stourbridge 9.

Byline: By Howard Clews at the Recreation Ground

Stourbridge suffered an upset to their promotion hopes with a comprehensive defeat of their game in hand of league leaders Manchester, slipping from second to fourth in the process.

"It was one of those days when things just didn't go. It was very disappointing to ship 27 points - it's so tight in this league that points difference may matter at the end of the season," said director of rugby Neil Mitchell.

After the early stages which saw them 19 points down within 25 minutes Stour spent plenty of time in the Redruth half and applied lots of pressure but lacked a cutting edge in the face of stern home defence.

Redruth began by applying much pressure down in notorious Hellfire Corner and first fast hands, then a burst from a ruck by Kiwi No 8 Mark Bright set up flanker Nathan Pasco for a try converted by Gareth Griffiths.

Four minutes later Redruth had a line-out in Hellfire Corner, made the catch and set up a rolling maul which drove hooker Glenn Cooper over for an unconverted score.

However Griffiths did convert their third try after another rolling maul and break by another Kiwi, centre Petiai Gidlow, produced a ruck from which man-of-the-match Bright thrust ten yards unopposed between the posts.

Stour then began to get into the game and camped for spells close to the home line but could not produced penetration nor complete moves with the final pass often astray.

A late tackle on Stour full back Jon Hall produced a penalty from which Rod Petty put their first points over and he repeated the dose five minutes later when Redruth went over the top at a ruck. That made the prospective interval score 19-6 and it remained so when, on the stroke of half-time, Stour's best chance went begging as forward butterfingers led to a final pass being dropped with the try line yawning.

In the third quarter Stour stormed Hellfire Corner fruitlessly, including when they opted for penalty line outs there in vain, so eventually petty had anther pot at gaol after 55 minutes and succeeded.

Stour continued mainly on the attack, but in a rare Redruth breakout upfield clean ball from a lineout enabled fly half Griffiths to drop a goal and in the last five minutes sharp interplay brought them a fourth, bonus point try.

At their scrum 15 yards from their own line Stour won the ball but were pushed back and somehow driven off it allowing the other Pasco brother, scrum half Dave, to send winger Lewis Vinnicombe over on the blind side.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 19, 2007
Words:439
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