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Syston 1st XV 100 v 5 Spalding 1st XV

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015 08:29pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geof Nichols
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The outcome of this match was never in doubt just the margin of an expected win for Syston who were looking to secure a bonus point victory to be crowned League Champions and book their place for next season in National Three Midlands.

A long and winless season has clearly taken its toll on Spalding’s First Team with an extensive injury list and none availability of some of the experienced players which would have been essential to help the younger players stepping up to a level many had not been expecting to play.

In the pack there was a welcome return for Tim Waltham after a two month absence with an ankle injury and John Barrett was again in the front row alongside Sam Cooke, Captain and Pete Waudby. The backs were short of Ryan Chappell and coach Ben Williams had to start the match in the unfamiliar role of fly half with George Brown at inside centre seeing if his hamstring would stand up to a full game. The rest of the backs all very promising Colts

Playing with a strong wind advantage Syston were soon into their stride and within the first ten minutes the home team were capitalising on lost ball by Spalding for two easy tries. Steadily Spalding were getting into the match especially the back row of Liam Richardson, Tim Waltham and Harry Brown prominent with covering tackles or good carries and Will Shields at scrum half was demonstrating that he was the best scrum half on the park with a much improved pass and tackling any forward that came his way.

With a stronger set of forwards Syston were always winning their own ball either in the scrum, at the lineout or at the breakdown and a further four tries were conceded.     However in the last ten minutes leading up to half time Spalding went through phase after phase of possession with the forwards prominent and excellent retention of the ball but just did not have that cutting edge to turn possession into points.

George Brown’s hamstring problems resulted in George Douglas coming on at half time, Josh Caley on for John Barrett in the front row and later Will Moore coming on as replacement flanker.   Very quickly Syston turned an excellent relieving kick from Josh Broome deep in their half into a sweeping move the length of the pitch for a good try and some poorly executed tackles by Spalding started to open the floodgates in the second half.

But with 10 minutes in the second half on the clock, Syston were penalised for coming in the side of a ruck and decent from the home forwards saw the referee march a further 10 metres for Broome to kick for touch near the home side’s  5 metre line for a Spalding lineout.   Sam Cooke’s throw to Tim Waltham was well taken and a driving maul was established with Pete Waudby in control at the back and as hard as Syston tried to disrupt progress Waudby was over to put Spalding on the score board.

The home team continued their scoring spree and celebrated at the end of the match as Champions of the league.

Spalding Team- Waudy, Cooke (captain), Barrett, B. Browne, Templer, Waltham, Richardson, H. Brown, Shields, Williams, Lane, G. Brown, C. Douglas, Booth, Broome, Caley, Moore, G. Douglas     

Photo: File pic   

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