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Stourbridge denied in controversial circumstances

Rugby | Published:

Director of rugby Neil Mitchell was left fuming with referee Mark Wooley after Stourbridge were denied victory over Chester in bizarre circumstances.

Dan Rundle Pic: Ceri Davies

Stour looked on course for a deserved win over the promotion-chasers when, leading 26-19 at Stourton Park, Nick Cairns dotted down to increase their advantage in the closing stages.

But after a five-minute break for referee Wooley to undergo treatment on an injury, the official then refused to give it, claiming he had not seen the grounding.

That allowed Chester to fight back and salvage a 26-26 draw courtesy of Michael Craven’s last-gasp try.

Mitchell explained: “We have about six or seven photos which show the try being scored and initially it looked like it had been awarded.

“But just at that moment the ref was knocked over by one of their players. He had treatment for about five minutes, got back up and said he never saw the grounding!

“We ended up getting penalised in the resulting scrum and from there Chester went and got a draw.

“It was disgraceful. None of our supporters could believe it, neither could theirs or any of their team or management.

“It really was the most bizarre set of circumstances I have ever seen.”

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Dan Rundle’s brace and further scores from Llyr Griffiths and Hal Riley had put Stour in sight of a third straight win.

“It was an excellent game and we played really well,” said Mitchell. “We have certainly shown in recent weeks what a good team we can be.

“I just hope the lads aren’t too affected by what happened.”

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