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Valiant Spalding outclassed by ON’s

Old Northamptonians 95 - 0 Spalding

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2014 04:38pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geof Nichols
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Due to injuries, illness and unavailability Spalding travelled to Northampton with a squad heavily reinforced from the second team and with Spalding residing at the bottom of Midlands One East and ON’s  [censored] fourth the omens were not sacked in Spalding’s favour on Saturday

Straight off from the kick off ON’s were on the front foot with their speed to the breakdown areas and the threequarters showing glimpses of their handling and support play, which would become a feature of the match, but it was Spalding who set up the first driving maul and the visitor’s forwards took heart. However on the five minutes ON’s lock forward broke through a Spalding tackle and scored in the corner. Five minutes later it was ON’s other lock forward who demonstrated speed and strength to touch down and a few minutes later all the home team’s forwards drove the Spalding pack for a pushover try.

Ben Hoyles, fullback, returning from injury had to retire after 20 minutes with Charlie Seconde coming off the bench. Spalding forwards were generally holding their own in the scrum allowing Harry Brown playing No 8 to pick the ball with either Will Shields at Scrum Half or Dan Mackie at Fly Half supporting. Another positive feature of Spalding’s play was their defensive line speed cutting down ON’s attacking options but as the tackles kept going in ON’s always seemed to have a support runner for an offload or they secured their ruck to set up another attacking option lead by their excellent scrum half

To relive pressure Dan Mackie was kicking to touch to gain territory. However ON’s demonstrated their superior lineout ability winning all their own ball and immediately coming back on the attack. Prop Jacob Hutson took a knock and was replaced by John Barrett and by half time ON’s were leading by 53 points to nil

With the slope in ON’s favour in the second half there was the potential for Spalding to be on a hiding to nothing but they tackled out of their sinks and their defensive shape was better than in many of their recent matches. Tim Waltham who was having an excellent game was leading the lineout jumping but by now ON’s had worked out Spalding ploys denying the visitors any possession  and in the first 20 minutes of the second half a further 4 tries were conceded.

However Spalding’s team spirit could clearly be seeing in the last twenty minutes of the match. Ed Booth out sprinted the initial ON’s defence and was finally caught metres away from the try line. Spalding were also starting to string together some passing moves and the defensive line was still working, cutting down ON’s attacking options right up to the dying moments of the match. The final score was 95 to Nil for the home team  but Spalding sawed great heart in keeping going against an excellent team.

Spalding RFC:  Ryan Chappell (captain), Pete Waudby, Josh Caley, Jacob Hutson, Tim Waltham, Brian Browne, Adam Beshizza, Dave Maclaren, Harry Brown, Will Shields, Dan Mackie, Ed Booth, Kieran Lake, Will Moore, Ben Hoyles, Charlie Seconde, John Barrett, Gareth Osborne.

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