STAFFORD cruelly denied Leek st XV a winning start to their Midlands Division campaign with a try and conversion at the death of a thriller at Esterchem Park on Saturday.
Leek were leading 22-19 in the final minutes before sustained late pressure brought its rewards for the visitors.
The lead changed hands a number of times in a pulsating match which saw Ed Cheadle score two tries for Leek and Sam Hunt convert four penalty kicks.
Leek finished the game a man down after Joe Booth was ordered off for being yellow-carded twice.
This Saturday Leek play host to Notts Casuals in the Midlands Intermediate Cup (3pm).
Whitchurch 2s 28, Leek 2s 55.
Leek Colts 22, Stoke Colts 14.