By Liam Moakes Monday 29 October 2012 Updated: 29/10 16:41
Phoenix 0 Stow 14
Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier
STOW secured an impressive victory on Saturday which took them to the top of the table with five wins from as many matches.
The success ended the hosts' own 100 per cent record and leaves Stow in fine fettle after a quarter of the league season.
The toss was likely to prove crucial with a strong northerly wind blowing down the slope at Taplow and Stow won the toss and decided to take advantage of the wind and slope, but found it difficult to break down the home defence.
That was until they were awarded a penalty after 21 minutes in front of the posts and 15 yards out.
Perhaps Phoenix thought Stow would 'kick the three', but Hugo Griffiths had other ideas and quick thinking and an even quicker tap broke through three tackles and saw him touch down for a seven-pointer converted by Nick Cafearo.
Stow's forwards continued to win good breakdown ball and four minutes before half time they released the backs who handled well and released Jamie Holmes on a strong run to within two yards of the line.
The Stow forwards were there first and secured the ball and Andrew Piercy drove over for a well worked try followed by a great conversion by Cafearo.
The wind continued in the second half but the question was whether Stow hold out against a big set of forwards.
Stow took the game to their opponents and camped on their line at the top of the slope for ten minutes without scoring.
The visitors then conceded a penalty which took the game into their 22 and 13 minutes of severe pressure from Phoenix followed and two more penalties which Stow resisted with some superb tackling before they finally took a scrum against the head to clear their lines.
In the last quarter Stow's forwards were dominating in the rucks and mauls and the defence of the backs was heroic.
Stow were fitter and far more determined and finished the game much the stronger team.
Stow host Risborough tomorrow.
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