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Bishop's Stortford Blues defeat Old Elthamians II in Zoo Sports Shield, Division One

By Michael Vaughton

Chris Smith scored a superb last-minute try as Bishop’s Stortford Blues turned a 15-point deficit into a 29-27 home victory over Old Elthamians II in Zoo Sports Shield, Division One.

The result means a victory at Wimbledon II on April 27 will secure the team a top-four finish – a phenomenal turnaround for a side who finished bottom of the pile last term.

From the outset, Stortford’s forwards drove hard into the OEs defence and the pressure was added to by incisive running from Jimmy Rea and Jack Scantlebury.

Bishop's Stortford Blues (8622131)
Bishop's Stortford Blues (8622131)

They eventually went over for their first try, before Rea’s converted score extended the lead to 12-0. Rea later went off with ligament damage, but he is expected to be fit for pre-season.

Despite the early promise, Stortford knew OEs could create opportunities and they took two in quick succession to level matters by half time.

The visitors began the second half strongly and some excellent wide play led to them scoring a try to go in front for the first time.

OEs added a penalty and then a pushover try when a yellow card was awarded to the Blues for repeated infringements in their 22.

At 27-12 down, the Blues were really up against it. However, they showed superb mental toughness to get back into the contest.

Smith’s converted try put them within eight points of their opponents, before the deficit was cut to three when Connor Mak sneaked through the breakdown to score.

And Smith had the last word as he received a basketball pass from prop Ben Law, showing pace, power and agility to race 30 metres and dot down in the corner.

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