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Cambridge edge entertaining National League 1 derby clash with Bishop's Stortford





The pendulum swung one way and then the other, but eventually it was Cambridge that edged Saturday’s National League 1 derby against Bishop’s Stortford by a slender 40-38 margin.

Cambridge took an early lead through Matt Arden, who converted his own try with just four minutes on the clock.

However, by the time that the 40th minute had rolled around, three tries – two of which were converted – and a penalty had put visiting Stortford 22-7 in the ascendancy.

Matt Arden celebrates his late match-winning intervention. Picture: Chris Fell
Matt Arden celebrates his late match-winning intervention. Picture: Chris Fell

Ben Brownlie continued his fine try-scoring form this season with another in first-half stoppage time, with Arden’s subsequent kick keeping Cambridge in contention.

Cambridge had regained the lead by the 46th minute thanks to tries from Kieran Duffin and Seb Brownhill, but again Stortford responded in positive fashion as a 59th-minute converted try put them 32-26 in front.

Four minutes later Brownlie’s second try of the game – converted by Arden – saw the home side wrestle back the lead at 33-32, but a couple of penalties in the closing stages looked to have earned Stortford the bragging rights at 38-33.

Kieran Duffin was among the try scorers for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell
Kieran Duffin was among the try scorers for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell

But in the final piece of action Brownlie completed his hat-trick to level up the scoreline and Arden kept his cool with the conversion to seal a two-point victory.

The win has seen Richie Williams’ men move up to second place in the standings and they now lead the chase for leaders Rams.

The Reading-based table toppers, who beat Chinnor 50-31 on Friday, are six points better off with both sides having played 18 games.

Cambridge will hit the road on Saturday (February 18) when they travel to face fifth-placed Cinderford in a match that will pit the division’s top three try scorers against each other.

Cambridge duo Kwaku Asiedu and Brownlie are first and second on 20 and 18 respectively, with Cinderford’s Nathan Taylor in close proximity on 17.



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