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Stour take title race to the death
Updated 9:05am Monday 14th April 2014 in Stourbridge RFC
Stourbridge 78, Bromsgrove 6
STOUR made certain they will be involved in this season's title race right to the death.
They duly brushed aside Bromsgrove with a spectacular display of running rugby and now all thoughts turn to Harrogate on April 26.
A victory in Yorkshire could see Stour crowned champions, but they could also finish up second or third depending on the outcome of Darlington Mowden Park's clash at home to Macclesfield.
It couldn't be tighter or more involved.
At least Stour finished their National League Two North campaign at Stourton Park in stunning style. Whether they'll be back for a play off final remains to be seen.
In the meantime they made certain they erased the ghost of last season when they suffered a shock home defeat to Bromsgrove by running in a total of 12 tries.
Yet for the opening 10 minutes, there was just the slightest hint that last season's surprise slip up might come back to haunt them again as remarkably, Bromsgrove made the better start, put Stour under pressure and forced a couple of penalties which full back John Critchlow slotted over to give the Finstall Park side a 6-0 advantage.
Stour had to wait until the 12th minute before opening their account when full back Tom Jarvis came into the line to score with a two man overlap available.
The ease at which Stour scored suggested there were more tries to come and the home faithful didn't have to wait long.
Wing wizard Nathan Bressington led the scoring spree by bagging the next three tries on his way to a five try haul.
Jarvis also added a second try while loose head prop Mark George added his name to the scoresheet.
Accurate Jamie Hearn converted five of the six tries as Stour led 40-6 at the break.
In the second half, Stour threatened to open the floodgates as they raced to a 71-6 lead by the 65th minute mark, Bressington completed his five-timer while flanker Nigel Mukarati, hooker Scott Wright and speedy centre Gary Dipple added their names to the try sheet.
Credit to Bromsgrove who held Stour at bay for the next 15 minutes before Mukarati snapped up his second try , stampeding over with the final move of the match.
Hearn rounded off an excellent afternoon with the boot by converting nine tries for a personal tally of 18 points.
Satisfied Stour Director of Rugby Neil Mitchell claimed "It wasn't the best of starts but it was all about putting points on the board. Points difference could be key at the end of the season. We could still end up first, second or third. What a way to end the season!
Stour: Tom Jarvis; Nathan Bressington, Stefan Shillingford, Ben Barkley (Gary Dipple 60), Jamie Hearn; Sam Robinson, Pete White (Sione Tuipulotu 60); Mark George, Scott Wright (Dale Garner 56), Mike Hill (Adam Sturdy 56), Ben Hughes, Robbie Hurrell, Nigel Mukarati, Ejike Uzoigwe, Chris Depper ( Nile Dacres 56).
Attendance 487 Man of the match: Nathan Bressington for his five tries - although Pete White was imperious at scrum half.