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Workman like Performance by Spalding

Spalding RFC 1st xv 41 v Melbourne RFC 1st xv 10

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2013 08:58pm
Spalding St. John's, South Holland
By Geoff Nichols
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Spalding produced a workman like performance as they took maximum points against Melbourne RFC who were visiting Spalding for the first time ever.      

Although the elements of a strong wind and blustery showers particularly in the first half affected both sides equally it was not until the second half that Spalding produced the type of rugby they are capable of producing.     Melbourne kicked off and from the beginning Spalding showed why they were top of the league, they immediately took the play deep into the visitors half and put pressure on their try line.      From a scrum 10 metres out Spalding won the ball and it went to the three-quarters with the returning George Brown getting the opportunity to break through the defence and recording his side’s first points.    Fly half James West converted and after only four minutes Spalding had seven points on the board.       It was not long before the home side were back in the same area.     They were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch 20 metres out.      A scrum followed and Melbourne were penalised, Spalding choose to go for a penalty and West added another three points to the score.     Spalding increased the pressure and were playing most of their rugby in the oppositions half.    Another penalty was awarded to Spalding and the ball went wide as the force of the elements started to dominate the match.     The same action was repeated again and the ball also went wide.      The rain was coming down quite heavily and the home side may have been wiser to kick for touch and look to score from their driving maul than looking for the converted penalty.       Melbourne did manage to put some pressure on the home side before half time but the defence held firm and the half time score was 10 – 0 after forty minutes.      At the beginning of the second half the rain cleared away  but the strong wind remainder a problem for both sides.     Spalding started the second half and were soon driving down the left touchline.      They were won a lineout and the forwards drove from 30 metres out.  There was no stopping their rampage forward as the try line approached Harry Brown peeled off the back of the drive and with further support went over the line for a try.     The conversion was straight into the wind and the ball went wide of its mark.     The score had moved to 15 – 0.    It was not long before Spalding were attacking on the opposite side of the pitch.     Tom Duerden received an injury and this influential player had to leave the field as the home side readjusted.     Spalding won a lineout and the ball came to the backs.    Fly half  West cut through the defence to score out wide to the left and the conversion of his own score was successful and the score moved to 22 – 0.    Within the next five minutes Spalding had scored again.    First of all skipper Harry Sharman broke left and passed to winger Harry Harrison, who was making his first appearance since the beginning of the season.   Harrison was looking sharp and outpaced the cover defence before cutting inside to touch down under the posts making an easy conversion for West and taking his teams score to 29 – 0.    Melbourne showed their ability not to give up and pressurised the Spalding line, but they lost the ball and the home side’s three quarters burst free running the length of the pitch with West touching down under the posts and adding his own conversion to make the score 36 – 0 after 60 minutes.    The plucky Melbourne side were still trying hard and were rewarded for their efforts in the last fifteen minutes of the match.    First of all from a penalty they kicked for touch, won the line out and the ball went along their three quarter line to score in the corner.      The try was unconverted and shortly after a similar move resulted in them doubling their score to make it 36 – 10.   The final scoring move was a splendid piece of text book rugby.    Sharman had the ball and lead the attack, drawing the tackler to him before he passed out to the ever present Jay Harwood who went over to score near the touch line.     The conversion went wide, but as the referee blew his whistle it was a job well done for the Spalding team with maximum points having been accumulated.

 

Spalding RFC: Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Jacob Harwood, Alex Ioannou, Tom Duerden, Ed Duerden, Richie Craig, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, James West, Andy Lal, George Brown, Dan Cooper, Ben Williamson, Ed Booth, Josh Caley, Gareth Ramsden,  Harry Harrison.           

Photograph: File pic

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