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Preston Grasshoppers 23 Stourbridge 35
2:52pm Tuesday 11th December 2012 in Stourbridge RFC
JAMIE Hearn kicked three penalties and three conversions as Stourbridge made it 14 wins in a row.
Had Preston’s Sean Taylor, top points scorer in National League Two North, had his kicking boots on this may have been a different result.
But nothing should be taken away from another stunning showing from the Saxons, who again dominated in the forward line, The opening score followed a deft Nathan Bressington chip behind the defenders, with Sam Baker hacking the ball through before grounding it unchallenged.
A Hearn penalty extended the lead before lineout ball was shifted right to Baker who offloaded back inside to Ben Barkley for a nicely worked try.
Preston responded with a penalty to make the halftime score 3-15 but Hearn responded in kind in the opening minute of the second period.
The hosts hit back with two tries in succession, the first from a turnover inside the Stour 22 and then from a deflected clearance kick.
However, the Saxons pressure up front was telling and from an attacking five metre scrum, they forced a penalty.
Though Preston responded with a try of their own, another dominant scrum earned Hearns another penalty.
After the hosts had reduced the deficit to five points, Nigel Mukarati was driven over in the final minute to get the bonus point - preserving Stour’s incredible run.
Coach Mike Umaga said: “They weren't the best of conditions but I liked the way we stuck at it today, keeping our composure under pressure to first secure the win and then create and seize the bonus point opportunity.
“This is a very tough place to come, plenty of sides will travel here and be knocked over, so I'm particularly please we were able to secure the five points.”