Spalding stay at the top

Dronfield 1st xv RFC 20 v Spalding RFC 1st xv 32

Last Updated: Oct 8, 2013 02:45pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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Spalding travelled to north Derbyshire for their fixture against Dronfield and they had the ability and determination to maintain their 100% winning record as well as picking up a bonus point which maintained their place at the top of the league and one point clear of their nearest rival, Asbourne.

Spalding kicked off with the advantage of the discernible slope and influential breeze in their favour and the home side made it clear from the start that they would be upsetting the rhythm of their visitors play from the first kick.   Dronfield, having gathered the ball at the start took play up field cutting across the Spalding defence and were only stopped ten metres from the visitors’  line.   Spalding cleared but play continued in the mid field for most of the first half.    It was not until 25 minutes had elapsed before the first score came.      From their own 25 metre line Spalding broke clear on the right and space was created before the final pass went to full back Matty Newman.   Newman beat three defenders before going over to score wide out.     The conversion attempt was very close but the wind took the ball outside the upright at the last moment.      It was not long before Spalding were back on the attack again.    Harry Sharman opened up the visitors defence and linked with Rob Lucas before being stopped only 10 metres short of the line.      Spalding were applying the pressure.     Sharman was close to touching down but was held up practically within touching distance of the target but he managed to get the ball away to Tom Duerden who used his strength to score in the corner.      Again the conversion attempt was thwarted by the breeze but after thirty minutes the score had moved to 0 – 10.   By now Spalding were starting to play more constructive rugby with some determination.    Spalding kicked for touch for touch but were still 45 metres out.    They won the line out ball and made ground in the centre of the pitch.    The ball went to Harry Brown who used his power and pace to break through four tackles before going over for the third try.  But again the elements proved difficult for the conversion.      Three minutes later the visitors were awarded a penalty inside their own half but in the centre of the pitch.     A determined James West elected to kick at goal and demonstrated what he could achieve with the wind behind him and the 55 metre conversion easily cleared the cross bar to increase the lead to 0 – 18.     Within only two minutes of the half left it was skipper Sharman who again broke clear before linking with Josh Finch,  he passed to George Brown who made a good break before passing out to Newman who was backing up and the full back touched down again for his second try and leaving a simpler conversion for West to take the half time score to 0 – 25.       The second half commenced with the visitors concerned to know if they had done enough during the time the elements had been in their favour as now they were defending with the slope and the strong breeze against them.     It was not long before the home side were awarded a penalty and the conversion went safely between the posts to open their scoring.      Another penalty followed within five minutes of the start of the second half and Dronfield were on their way with the score at 6 – 25.    A further ten minutes elapsed before the home side’s full back broke clear and used his speed to make his side’s first try of the afternoon  just right of the posts, the conversion was a formality, and within 15 minutes the score had moved to 13 – 25.     Spalding re-started and were soon making progress.     Dronfield knocked on and from the resultant scrum Spalding won the ball.    Centre George Brown cut across field to the left hand side before passing to his brother Harry Brown who linked with breakaway forward Josh Finch who in the narrowest of spaces crossed the line to score.   With one of the hardest kick’s of the afternoon West had no problem and added the conversion to take the score to 13 – 32 with 20 minutes of the match remaining.    After another five minutes Spalding were ruled off side by the referee.    A quick taken tap penalty resulted in a score for the home side which was easily converted.   However this was how the scored remained as both sides were unable to add to their scores in the final ten minutes.

Spalding had won a difficult match plus a try scoring bonus point to keep them at the top of the league with a one point advantage.


Spalding RFC:     Harry Sharman captain, Alex Ioannou, Jacob Harwood, Pete Waudby, Tom Duerden, Tim Waltham, Josh Finch, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, James West, Andy Lal, George Brown, Richie Craig, Matty Newman, Rob Mason, Ed Duerden, Huw Sharman.     


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