Spalding 1st XV open season with a win

Midlands 2 East North

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2013 09:40pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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Bakewell Mannerians RFC 1st xv 17 v Spalding RFC 1st xv 29

Spalding travelled to the Derbyshire dales for the second time in two weeks, but this time it was to open their campaign in the League, featuring this season in the Midlands Two East North division and they started their campaign with some impressive rugby but at times they succumbed to a poorer performance which will not do them well in the weeks ahead.     

The positive version for 80 minutes of the match will see them at the top of the league by the end of the season. The ground had to be changed at the last minute due to unavailability but Spalding managed the changes better than the home side.  Spalding kicked off on a bright afternoon with little wind for either side.   It was not long before Spalding had opened the score.   Ed Duerden broke clear in the homeside’s half and was only stopped five metres short of the line.   The ball was made available and went quickly down the line to Harry Brown who went over for the first score in the league campaign after only five minutes. The conversion went wide of the posts.     

The score remained the same for the remainder of the half although both sides had opportunities to score.     Spalding won a line out in the oppositions half and once again Harry Brown broke from the rear of the lineout, he passed to Tom Duerden who drove forward only to be stopped 15 metres short of the line.    Bakewell cleared their lines.    Next to show was new flyhalf James West he received  the ball from a line out on the halfway line chipped forward and gathered the ball before punting the ball for winger Mattey Newman to run on to, however the bounce took the ball into touch and out of the grasp of the visitors winger.    

The remainder of the half was generally played between the two sides 22 metre areas.    

However Spalding were also showing their strength in the tight scrum when they did not go backwards and were on occasions positively going forward. At half time Spalding made some changes.  Sharman moved to his normal position at open side flanker, JD Charlton took over at scrum half and Adam McHugh came on at inside centre.   

Bakewell kicked off and from the break for the next 10 minutes the visitors had a purple patch. Sharman now back in his old position broke clear on the left side, he passed to Harry Brown and then McHugh was involved breaking through the tackles before feeding debutante Josh Finch to scramble over in the left corner.   

A long kick from the left touchline saw West open his scoring for the club and make the score 0 – 12. Shortly afterwards from a clearing kick by Bakewell, Spalding took a quick throw in and immediately attached. The three-quarters worked  well with again McHugh breaking through the defence before passing out to Ben Williamson whose pass to West enable him to drop a goal and move the score on by three more points to 0 – 15.  

From the re-start Spalding were awarded a penalty they kicked for touch some 20 metres from their opponents try line. The forwards caught the ball and drove for the line. They had the momentum to go to the try line but Bakewell disrupted the move and as a consequence Spalding were awarded a penalty try. Matty Newman converted from in front of the posts and the score had move to 0 – 22 after only ten minutes of the second half.  In defence Spalding were ruled to be offside and the home side opened their scoring with a converted penalty making the score 3 – 22.    

Bakewell were strongly attacking the Spalding line and from a scrum five their number 8 broke with the ball and forced his way over to score and their kicker added the points to make the score 10 – 22 with less than ten minutes left of the match. Within five minutes Spalding scored again. From a scrum the ball was won and went down the line, McAdam broke through the defence before passing to Williamson who at the last moment cut diagonally inside the home side defence to score under the posts leaving again a simple conversion for Newman to give a comfortable lead to his side of 10 – 29. In the final moments that last word went to Bakewell.  They were awarded a penalty kicked for touch five metres from the Spalding try line. They won the line out, the ball went down the three-quarters and scored in the corner.  The difficult kick was converted and the final score was 17 – 29.  

But Spalding recorded their first win plus a bonus point to take them to fourth in the league.

Photograph: File pic

Spalding RFC:   Harry Sharman (captain), Sam Cooke, Jacob Harwood, Alex Ioannou, Tom Duerden, Tim Waltham, Ed Duerden, Josh Finch, Harry Brown, James West, Matty Newman, Ryan Chappell, Ben Williamson, George Brown, Sean Bishop, Josh Caley, Adam McHugh, John Charlton. 




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