Buoyant Buxton Stags tuned up for this weekend’s big Senior Vase quarter-final by beating their main rivals for the league title.
Buxton are at home to Telford Hornets in the Vase at Sunnyfields Rugby Club on Saturday, and excitement is mounting.
They are only two games away from the Midlands final and then four to Twickenham for the national final, and they are hoping the fact that they knocked out Telford on their way to the Junior Vase final at Twickenham in 2016 will prove to be a good omen.
They certainly proved that they are in fine fettle in a 15-0 defeat of Grimsby, who are challenging them for the Midlands 3 East (North) division title in the National League.
The Stags bounced back readily from a 20-10 defeat away to Southwell the previous Saturday, which had halted their seven-match unbeaten run, and they shot five points clear of Grimsby at the top of the table.
The newly-promoted home side had started the season in similar fashion to Buxton, racing to six straight wins, and they had a match in hand going into Saturday’s contest. But Buxton pulled out all the stops in a dogged, determined performance that suggested they could be the team heading for the champions’ trophy.
From the initial, early exchanges, and from the set-up of both sides, it was clear that the match was never going to be fast flowing. On a wet and heavy pitch, the two teams fielded large sets of forwards.
However, the Stags had the better of the Grimsby forwards, who looked one-dimensional and whose play was rebuffed by a solid defensive performance.
Buxton never looked back from their opening score, which was a try in the corner for 17-year-old Aaron Collins, making his first full start for the team.
The try was unconverted., but the visitors went on to make sure of their terrific, confidence-boosting victory.