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Spalding go eight points clear

Spalding RFC 1st xv 40 v Stamford RFC 1st xv 22

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2013 07:44pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geof Nicholls
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This was a match that had two prizes for Spalding a win would keep them at least eight points clear of their nearest rival and would also take them into the final in May of the Lincolnshire Cup and for the first quarter of the match Stamford made it as difficult as possible for the home side.   

In fact in the first five minutes the visitors had their first opportunity with a kickable penalty kick but the attempt went wide.      Playing with the wind in the first half Stamford did not allow the home side to get into their usual rhythm.       

In fact the first to score were the visitors with a more successful penalty attempt after the first 20 minutes of the match. But this soon drove Spalding to a better display.  First winger Andy Lal opened up an opportunity on the left wing to take play deep into the opponents defence. Spalding won the line out and the ball went to the three-quarters.   

Captain for the day Ryan Chappell cut back inside and fed forward Tom Duerden who used his strength to take the ball close to the line before passing out to his brother Ed Duerden to score close to the posts.  James West had no problem in converting to give Spalding a 7 – 3 lead. The home side followed this up in the next few minutes with another score. First they were awarded a penalty and West kicked for position some ten metres out from the opposition try line. Spalding won the line out and drove for the line. Stamford defended well but in the end the Spalding pack drove over for Ed Duerden to score his second try. West converted and the score was 14 – 3 with the home side getting back into their normal game with eight minutes of the first half left.      

From the restart Spalding were soon back in the visitors 22 metre area.   

Again it was both Tom and Ed Duerden who drove towards the line with the support of the remaining forwards and when they were held up Ben Williams, who was playing at scrum half this week, drove forward and scored his side’s third try to the left of the posts.  The inform West added the conversion and with only four minutes of the half remaining Spalding had a lead of 21 – 3.      

Before the half finished Stamford were awarded a penalty they kicked for touch and were rewarded with a lineout five metres from the Spalding try line. Spalding infringed in the lineout and their opponents had a scrum five metres out. The scrum collapsed with Stamford in possession and the referee awarded a penalty try to the visitors. The conversion secured them the full points and as the half time whistle was blown the score had moved to 21 – 10.       

Spalding started the second half with the wind at their backs.  A good start by West making touch some 15 metres from the line.  Spalding secured the lineout and the ball went to the three-quarters, again Chappell cut back inside and linked with his forwards resulting in Ed Duerden crossing for his third try of the match. West added the conversion.    

From the restart Stamford made a determined effort and the home side missed tackles which allowed their opponents to score to the right of the posts, leaving a simple conversion to make the score 28 – 17 with only five minutes of the second half having passed.      

But Spalding, who had not had the play all their own way returned to more constructive rugby. Spalding were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch some 30 metres out.They won the throw in and the ball went to the three-quarters. At outside centre Harry Harrison stepped inside his marker and was clear to race to the line and record his side’s fifth try which West converted.      The score was 35 – 17 with ten  minutes left to play.      

Spalding ran the ball from their own half with Ben Williams making the first break he linked with winger Lal who made good ground before passing inside to the supporting Ben Williamson who used his strength to take him over the try line and score.     The conversion went wide and the score was 40 -17.    

But the opposition were not finished and as sometimes happens with the home side in the last few minutes they lost concentration and allowed Stamford to score but their kicker could not manage the conversion and the match finished at 40 – 22.     

This took Spalding through to the final of the Lincolnshire Cup and maintained their place at the top of the league.

Spalding RFC: Ryan Chappell (captain), Ian Knight, Jacob Harwood, Pete Waudby, Andy Hoyles, Ashley Piccaver, Tom Duerden, Luke Scotney, Ed Duerden, Ben Williams, James West, Andy Lal, Harry Harrison, George Brown, Ben Williamson, Alex Ioannou, Tim Waltham, Dan Cooper.   

Photo: File pic

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