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Spalding 5 - 43 Old Northamptonians

Midlands One East

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2015 03:06pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geof Nichols
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Spalding entertained Old Northamptonians on Saturday at the Memorial Field. Earlier in the season Spalding had suffered a heavy defeat, 95 points to nil, at the visitors home ground and ON’s were now [censored] second in Midlands One East hunting for that play off place for promotion to National Three from which they had been relegated the previous season.

Making welcome returns to the first team were Ed Deurden, flanker and Ollie Phillips playing fly half allowing Captain Ryan Chappell to revert to his normal inside centre position. Will Shields had grabbed back the No 9 shirt from Richard Cooke and Chris Douglas back home from university was on the right wing

The match did not start well for Spalding as no soon had they got onto the pitch for the kick off, ON’s quickly exposed Spalding’s left hand defence and within the first minute the score board was in action with the first try scored to the visitors. The omens were not good!!!

However in their eagerness to capitalise on the early lead ON’s gave away a series of penalties  allowing Ollie Phillips to kick to touch and settle into the fly half role. ON’s scrum half Robbie Aitchson  was prominent either feeding the ball quickly to his forwards running onto the ball gaining metres over the gain line or spreading the ball out to the flyhalf Goody Goodman. Spalding were penalised for not releasing at a ruck and with a dominant pack had the confidence to go for a scrum rather than a penalty kick and slipped the ball to the flyhalf who found a gap in the Spalding defence and was under the posts for a converted try

Spalding responded with their forwards gaining territory with Ed Deurden and Harry Brown repeatedly getting through the first tackle. Another penalty given away by ON’s allowed Phillips to kick to touch on the 5 metres for a lineout. A clear take in the lineout by Tom Deurden set up the driving maul but was held up over the line. The home team continued to press but ON’s defence was well drilled and on the half hour a Spalding pass was intercepted and the visitors had a breakaway try. During the last ten minutes of the first half the visitors has the upper hand and from a lineout a driving maul could not be stopped by Spalding for a lead of 24 points to nil

With the resumption after half time Spalding went asleep for the opening minutes. The Spalding kick off did not go 10 metres. From the scrum ON’s broke through poor cover defence down the wing and within the first minute a try had been scored. This was a poor start after a competitive first half. ON’s pressed again and Spalding were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. A quickly taken penalty had Spalding’s defence in disarray and a grubber kick through was touched down for a converted try and twelve points had been conceded in the three opening minutes.

Steadily the home team regained their composure assisted by a series of penalties given away by the visitors which enabled them to gain territory and press in the visitors half. A quick tap and go by Ollie Phillips set up the forwards to drive forward and Ash Piccaver touched down for a well taken unconverted try. Within two minutes ON’s responded with a line break for a converted try.

With just over twenty minutes to play the large home crowd were contemplating a Spalding collapse  and the visitors racking up the points. Ben Williams, coach, came off the bench to replace Sam Cooke and with his experience Spalding tightened up possession and ON’s found it difficult to win any clean ball. When they did Ryan Chappell was leading the backs with the defensive formation and was well supported at outside centre by Gosling and wingers Lane and Douglas. 

On’s were now infringing and in the last 15 minutes the count was five penalties and free kicks to Spalding and none against, which speaks volumes for the home teams commitment even though relegation looms and the visitors could well be back in the National Leagues next season.

Ed Deurden  on his return to the pack certainly made a difference  and Ollie Phillips settle well into the fly half role despite not having played much rugby this season. Harry Brown again stood out for Spalding with his control at the back of the scrum and his breaks over the gain line and was Spalding’s  Man of the Match           

Team:  Waudby, Cooke, Caley, Piccaver, T Deurden, Richardson, E Deurden, Brown, Shields, Phillips, Lane, Chappell (Captain), Gosling, C Douglas, Broome, Seconde, Williams

  

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