Melton Mowbray 10 v Spalding 22

Spalding maintain unbeaten record

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2013 07:14pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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Spalding travelled to Melton Mowbray in pursuit of maintaining their unbeaten record in the league and at times they looked as if they might lose it, but once again came good in the second half however they were not able to secure an extra bonus point as they were only able to score three tries . 

One problem they have to realise is when you are at the top every side below them have ambitions to upset the league leaders and so it was in this match. Melton kicked off on a bright, but cool afternoon. But Spalding gathered the ball and made ground into their opponents half.    First to make an impression was Tim Waltham who broke clear in the centre of the field taking play to within 20 metres of the Melton try line.     

Next to make a mark for the visitors Ed Duerden broke clear and passed to Harry Brown but with a clear run a knock on followed.  Spalding were awarded a touch near the halfway line.    They won the lineout and the ball went down the three-quarters to winger Ben Williamson who was stopped only two metres short of the try line.     A penalty was awarded to Spalding who chose to kick for touch.  They won the lineout and the ball went down the three-quarters and Spalding were awarded another penalty.     

James West opened his side’s account and comfortably converted to give his team a 0 – 3 point lead after 15 minutes of play.   From the re-start the Melton team put the visitors under pressure and with two penalties awarded to them their kicker had no problem in equalling the score to make it 3 -3.    

In the next 15 minutes Spalding were over their opponents try line on three separate occasions but the defence of the home side made life difficult for the league leaders and on each occasion the visitors efforts came to nothing.  On two occasions the Spalding forwards had driven over the line but were unable to touch down to the satisfaction of the referee.    

On the third occasion from a penalty kick to within five metres of the line Harry Brown drove for the line but was held up just short. Melton cleared with a relieving drop out and found touch close to the Spalding try line.   

On the stroke of half time the home side won the ball off the back of the line and drove for the line to score his side’s first try.   The conversion was successful and the first half came to a close with the score 10 – 3 in favour of the home side.   

A big task faced the league leaders as they had only another forty minutes to maintain their lead at the top of the table. But it only took four minutes for Spalding to draw level. They were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch. They won the ball off the top of the line out and Harry Brown linked with his three-quarters. Fly half West cut through to touchdown and then added the conversion to draw the two sides at 10 – 10.   

Next Spalding were awarded a penalty and West kicked to touch just ten metres from the line.     

They won the line out and the ball went to inside centre George Brown who made valuable metres before being stopped and passing out to his captain Harry Sharman who, from three metres out was not going to be stopped, and gave his side a valuable lead.  West converted  and the score moved to 10 -17 with the final quarter of the match to play.   

Melton made life difficult for their visitors but never looked like scoring again and with the visitors superior fitness becoming evident as the match progressed it was in the final minutes that Spalding secured their win with a fine score.  Spalding were awarded a penalty and made touch inside the opposition’s half. They won the lineout and Sharman broke clear and made good ground before passing to his outside centre Harry Harrison who used his speed to create the space and touch down for his side’s third try. The conversion was adjudged to be wide as the referee below his whistle for a performance that was well below the mark for Spalding but at least kept them at the top of the league and seven points clear of their nearest rivals.

Spalding RFC:   Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Jacob Harwood, Alex Ioannou, Tim Waltham, Ed Duerden, Josh Finch, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Matty Newman, James West, George Brown, Harry Harrison, Ben Williamson, Ed Booth, Ollie Lake, Andy Hoyles, Dan Clitheroe. 

Photo: file pic


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