STOURBRIDGE RFC Director of Rugby Neil Mitchell was delighted with his team’s 25-21 victory at Cinderford last Saturday.

The win, which was Stour’s fourth in their last five outings, moves them into tenth place in the National One table, a point behind this week’s visitors Redruth.

Crucially, it closes the gap between the Stourton Park outfit and a group of clubs immediately above them. This makes a top six placing at the season’s Christmas halfway point a very realistic ambition.

Mitchell said: “Cinderford is an intimidating place to go, a ground where many visiting teams come away second best. We had to rid ourselves of the legacy from our terrible performance last year, and with no-one taking a backward step, I’m pleased to say we managed it.”

The result was built on a number of big performances from a largely locally-based squad. Over the last few seasons, Stourbridge have firmly established themselves as the spearhead National League club for the West Midlands area. This reputation is being rapidly enhanced by the management’s ability to spot and develop young talent, a vital component in competing with National One’s top clubs on a limited budget.

After conceding an 85 metre interception score shortly before the interval, Stour turned round a 12-3 half time deficit through tries from Tom Richardson, man of the match Ben Gerry and Craig Richards.

Despite a tense finale, solid defence ensured that former Stourton favourites, Ali Bressington and Danny Pointon, finished on the losing side, and the club had its first ever victory against the Foresters.

This sets up Saturday’s mouth watering visit from Cornish powerhouse Redruth (3pm). The Reds performances against the division’s fully professional outfits suggest they will be formidable opponents. Their creditable opening day draw against Cambridge was followed by a single point defeat at the hands of London Scottish last week.

Mitchell is expecting a massive physical confrontation with the Cornishmen’s big pack, but is confident his team is ready for whatever lies ahead.

He said: “Redruth are a well organized side with some talented players, including outstanding Kiwi number eight Mark Bright.

“But we have no new injury problems, and have yet to be dominated up front this year. I am especially pleased with our scrummaging, and the consistent displays given by the young players in our back row.

“We have plenty of fire-power in the backs too, so I’m expecting another strong performance and hopefully a win.”