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Spalding remain top of the table

Spalding RFC 1st xv 31 v Kesteven RFC 1st xv 8

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2013 05:00pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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Spalding maintained their lead at the top of the table as well as gaining an additional bonus point in their decisive win over fellow Lincolnshire club Kesteven.       

Although the score was impressive the home side’s ability to score far more points did not materialise in a performance  affected by the weather .

There was however no doubt that the persistent rain played its part especially  in the second half of the match.    Spalding kicked off with a good deep kick and although Kesteven cleared the ball it was Spalding that made the first break.    Skipper Harry Sharman latched on to the ball and broke through the visitors defence to open the scoring under the posts.   James West completed the conversion and with only three minutes having passed Spalding had made the score 7 – 0.  From the restart the home side was constantly pressurising the Kesteven defence.  

Centre Riche Craig broke through the centre and was stopped 10 metres short of the try line.    Spalding crossed the line but as the ball was grounded the referee adjudged it to have been knocked on.      Spalding were penalised on the halfway line and the Kesteven kicker made no mistake to give his side their first points after 20 minutes.     From the restart Spalding were soon in the oppositions half.  

A scrum to Spalding gave them the opportunity to attack on the left side.  First of all Tom Duerden used his strength and to make the opening before passing to Harry Brown, the ball went to brother George who scored under the posts.   West simply converted to make the score 14 -3 after 25minutes.     

It took another ten minutes of resistance by the Kesteven team before Spalding registered their next score.     Spalding broke on the left side of the pitch and took play to within five metres of the visitors’ try line.    A Kesteven player received a yellow card for cynical play at the back of the ruck.    Spalding kicked for touch on the five metre line, they won the ball at the back of the line out and drove for the line. The Spalding forwards crossed the line and Sharman scored again as a result of the drive and support from his forwards.  The conversion missed but the score was 19 -8.   

However Kesteven were not to be written off and with two minutes of the half remaining.  They were awarded a penalty, kicked for touch on the 22 metre line, won the line out and the ball went along the line before touching down on the far side of the pitch.  The conversion failed but the half time score had gone to 19 – 8.

Kesteven kicked off for the second half at the same time as the rain started coming down.

But it was not long before Spalding, having regained their composure at half time were back on the score sheet.    

First of all prop forward Alex Ioannou broke through the middle and made 20 metres before passing to Tom Duerden to make ground before passing to Harry Brown who bundled players out of his way before crossing for his sides fourth try and the all important extra bonus point. West converted to take his side to 26 – 8  after only four minutes of the second half.   

By now the weather was having a major influence on the match and both sides were having great trouble trying to control the ball.   But Spalding were probably finding the best advantages.  Sharman broke through again and was supported by Ben Williamson on the wing.    Williamson made good ground before being bundled into touch at the corner.    

Kesteven were under pressure but cleared their lines, however only to 10 metres from their try line. It was Spalding’ throw in.    Sharman caught the ball and all his forwards drove for the line with the result that their captain recorded his third try of the match.   The conversion glanced off the posts on the wrong side, the score was now 31 – 8 and remained that way until the end of the match.    

The wet ball thwarted further attempts such as denying Harry Brown his second try spilling the ball within touching distance of the try line.     

But the satisfied supporters were only dampened by the wet weather and not by their sides performance.

Spalding RFC   Harry Sharman (captain) Pete Waudby, Jacob Harwood, Alex Ioannou, Tim Waltham, Tom Duerden, Ed Duerden, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, James West, Andy Lal, George Brown, Richie Craig, Matty Newman, John Charlton, Sam Cooke, Mark Haighton, Ben Willamson.      

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