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Spalding 1st XV 26 v 53 Newark 1st XV

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2014 09:57pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geof Nichols
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This match was a renewal of old rivalry stretching back many decades  and with Newark only two places above Spalding in the Midlands One East league this was an excellent opportunity to kick start the season with a first home league victory

Spalding welcomed back Ed Duerden making his first start of the season at open side flank, Josh Broome returning on the wing and Ben Williamson also making a return to the bench. In front of a good crowd and excellent conditions for rugby the match kicked off with no team gaining any early advantage. However after 6 minutes Newark were pressing an advantage and spread the ball along their three-quarters but with excellent anticipation Josh Broome intercepted the final pass and ran the length of the pitch for the opening try under the posts with Dan Mackie having a simple conversion 

As play continued with Spalding really settling into the match Newark started to concede penalties but Dan Mackie pulled the first fairly simple kick wide of the posts and Josh Broome attempted the next kick from further out which just sailed past the wrong side of the uprights. But within 5 minutes Newark responded with a converted try to draw level due to four misted tackles by Spalding.

However Spalding were now taking control of the match with the forwards dominating. A high tackle on Harry Brown produced a good kick into touch by Mackie for a Spalding lineout, which they won. The ball was smuggled to the back of a driving maul being controlled by Pete Waudby and with the try line in sight he dived over for Spalding’s second try. Harry Brown was again prominent in open play with a storming burst through the Newark defence and ran in the next try which was successfully converted  

Newark made an immediate response from the restart and gained a scrum on Spalding’s twenty two and the referee spotted a home teams hand in the scrum, which resulted in Newark scoring their second unconverted try. Just before half time the Newark number eight was yellow carded and with Spalding having the better of the first half they went in with a 19 to 12 advantage.

 The second half started with Rob Lucas having replaced Will Shields at scrum half but within minutes Dan Mackie opened the door to Newark with a poor pass to his inside centre, which went terribly wrong as the Newark inside centre said thank you very much with a simple interception to score from 15 metres to level the score and shortly afterwards the visitors took the lead with a further try. 

The Spalding coach Andy McMahon used the bench with Josh Carney on for injured Sam Cooke, Tim Waltham on for Mark Haighton and Ben Williamson on for George Brown. However some familiar failings started to appear with missed tackles and failure to close down Newark when in possession. As a result Newark’s three-quarters and the number eight overran Spalding with four tries with a fifteen minute spell 

The only thing now left for Spalding was to endeavour to secure a bonus point by securing a fourth try and to their credit young winger Josh Broome obliged scoring in the corner and followed up with the difficult conversion from out wide. On the final whistle Newark finished off the match with their final try to win this bottom of the table match by 53 points to 26 points    

Spalding RFC:  Ryan Chappell (captain), Pete Waudby, Sam Cooke, Jacob Hutson, Mark Haighton, Ash Piccaver, Ed Duerden, Tom Duerden, Harry Brown, Will Shields, Dan Mackie, Josh Broome, George Brown, Will Moore, Rob Lucas, Josh Caley, Tim Waltham, Ben Williamson.

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