Spalding pushed all the way

Kesteven RFC 1st xv 10 v Spalding RFC 1st xv 19

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2014 08:23pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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This was the third match between these two clubs in the season in both league and cup matches and it should have been a formality for the visitors having won the two earlier matches with an aggregate total of 69 – 8, however Kesteven had other ideas and the visitors were pushed all the way until the final quarter when they had most of the play but not always able to capitalise on it.

Spalding kicked off with the advantage of the slope but against a discernible breeze which varied somewhat throughout the match.   After only two minutes Spalding were awarded a penalty some 25 metres from the Kesteven try line and generally in front of the posts. James West converted and the visitors had a lead of 3 points. Spalding were straight back in their opponents half and pressurised the home defence.   

Spalding were awarded a penalty and West kicked for touch deep in the Kesteven half. The visitors won the lineout and the ball went across field for the visitors but the determined Kesteven defence cut out the possible attack. Again Spalding came back at their opponents only to be thwarted again in their attempt to increase their points.    

With the first quarter having passed Kesteven took play up to the half way line and were awarded a penalty just inside the visitors half. With the aid of the breeze their kicker successfully converted to open his side’s score after twenty minutes and level the match at 3 – 3.

Again Spalding came back from the restart with a well placed drop out. Spalding were awarded a penalty in a more difficult position but this time the ball went wide of the posts. From the 22 metre drop out by Kesteven Spalding claimed possession and attacked on the left. Harry Sharman lead his forwards and was only stopped five metres out.       

Another penalty for Spalding and they kicked for touch some fifteen metres out. They won the line out and drove for the line, but to no avail a stiff defence from Kesteven held out. The pressure was on the home side but the visitors were finding it difficult to break through. Finally a penalty to Spalding resulted in a successful drive to the line and Richie Craig playing in the back row was successful in scoring. West converted to take his side into a 3 – 10 lead after 30 minutes of play.     

In one of the best moves of the match the Kesteven full back collected the ball on the half way and used his speed and side step to beat the visitors defence and score under the posts. The conversion was successful and at half time the score was 10 – 10 with all to play for. Kesteven restarted with the advantage of the slope but again it was mainly Spalding who had the majority of the possession but for the majority of the time they were unable to convert their possession into points.     Inevitably the home side made mistakes for which they were penalised. First off all just 22 metres from their try line and West had no problem to increase his side’s lead to 10 – 13.       

Shortly afterwards Spalding were again deep in their opponents half and another penalty was awarded to the visitors leaving West to stretch the lead to 10 -16. A penalty was awarded to Spalding and West found touch some 20 metres out. They won the line out and Tom Duerden drove for the line breaking attempted tackles before being held up some two metres short.       

Constantly Spalding had opportunities to score, with on one occasion from some five metres from the home side’s try, the ball went along the line to create an overlap of three Spalding players but a knock on at the vital moment resulted in Kesteven being able to clear their lines.    In the final move of the match Spalding were again on the attack and opened up the home side’s defence before a Kesteven player was off side. West converted his fourth penalty of the afternoon and give his team a 10 -19 win as the final whistle blew.      

Spalding had achieved their win but not with a bonus point which still leaves them in the second place in the league and one point behind the successful league leaders Belgrave.      

Spalding RFC:   Harry Sharman (captain),Alex Ioannou, Jacob Harwood, Pete Waudby, Andy Hoyles, Tim Waltham, Josh Finch, Richie Craig, Ben Williams, James West, George Brown, Ryan Chappell, Harry Harrison, Andrew Lal, Adam McHugh, Ian Knight, Tom Duerden, Rob Lucas. 

Photo: File pic


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