National One: Stourbridge 20 Blaydon 18
It was third time lucky for Stour as they called Tom Richardson off the bench to give them the organisation they needed to bring a last-gasp win over North Eastern visitors Blaydon.
The scrum-half brought guile and the tactical nous that had been missing and the words of director of rugby Neil Mitchell that Stour were a good side started to ring true.
Under Richardson’s command the Saxons started to dominate a match they had been losing 12-10 at half-time and when replacement fly-half Cameron Brown landed a penalty in the last minute to put Stour ahead the turnaround was complete.
Blaydon pressure from the start brought a try for Robbie Kalbraier and after Stourbridge prop Will Davis was yellow-carded, a converted score from centre Andy Baggett extended their interval lead.
Fly-half Luke Cozens had opened Stourbridge’s account with a penalty. He was also left with a routine conversion after full-back Tom Jarvis scored.
Blaydon full-back Dan Kyle kicked two penalties midway through the second half before Richardson’s match-defining impact.
The replacement’s scorching break sent No.8 James Freeman storming in before he took charge of midfield with a concerted spell of late pressure that resulted in prop Justin Clarke and Baggett seeing yellow and Brown seeing three points to record the first victory of the new term.