In-form Stags have silverware and a top four league finish in their sights

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Director of rugby Karl Degroot is looking for his Buxton Stags to seal fourth place in the table and clinch some silverware over the coming weeks.

Saturday’s 28-25 win over Sleaford in the Midlands 3 East (North) sees the Stags in possession of fourth spot ahead of their last game of the season with Chesterfield Panthers.

Sleaford are level on points with the Stags and travel to sixth-placed Ashby in their final outing of the league campaign on the same day - Saturday April 22nd.

And, with the NLD and Derbyshire cup finals on April 29th and May 6th respectively, the Stags season is far from finished after they’ve taken on second-from-bottom Panthers.

Degroot said: “Sleaford I thought were one of the better sides in the league that we have played, so really pleased with the win. The guys have been playing some really good rugby now for the last six weeks or so.

“We just need to complete out against Chesterfield in a fortnight to secure fourth place which would be a really credible effort given the player pressure we have been under to date.

“Moving forwards we have got the two cup finals still to play, so it’s great to see them hitting some late season form. I hope they can sustain it for another few weeks and grab some silverware, they deserve something back for their efforts this season.”

Stags opened the scoring against Sleaford on four minutes with a penalty in front of the posts from Matt Lomas. Sleaford replied quickly to level up at 3-3 and then took the lead with a similar penalty decision.

Stags were in full flow, however, and crossed the line, with wing Ryan Sircar rounding off a series of quick phases which saw the play switch fully 60m from side to side to make it 8-6 to the home side.

Sleaford then took the lead with a 50m dash from halfway after the ball had been ripped from fly-half Wagstaffe’s grasp. The referee clearly missed the resulting knock on. Stags responded with Sim Meek crashing over under the posts from some dominant forward play involving Rosamond, Arthur and Degroot.

The second half started with Stags capitalising on some loose ball in midfield. Will Bealle at scrum-half jinking 40m finally finding hooker Mike Pullen out wide for the first score of the half and the lead extended to 22-11, with Lomas converting.

Sleaford next on the score sheet after some missed tackles converting to keep them in touch at 22-18. Lomas booted two more penalties shortly after to extend the lead to 28-18 but Sleaford set up a nervy finale with a late try from their centre and conversion.

Stags held on for the win.