Despite the unseasonal temperatures, Spa managed to keep their cool and run out worthy winners in this very entertaining game at “Moorefields”. However, though they made the first positive move of the match following a “Patch” Northover kick, which Leigh Cleary nearly capitalised on, Spa had to endure an almost continual onslaught from the Sils forwards for the major part of the first half. Such was the pressure it was no surprise when the visitors crashed over for the opening converted score on 22 minutes.
Further pressure ensued from Sils and Spa were glad to see No8, Alex Sharman steal the ball to alleviate the barrage and then see Cleary gain some ground with a kick to touch. The Spa pack had to be reshuffled coming into the game and Sils were making it difficult for them to produce any continuity in these early exchanges.
As the half moved into the final quarter, Spa began to give an indication of their quality with some decisive running. Lewis Kelsey
took a quick penalty deep in his 22 metre zone and cut through the opponents and linked with Simon Tyler who was able to make the half way line before being halted. Then Tyler made a further direct run and found Johnny Holland
in support. The Spa winger cut inside and at pace, jinked his way through Sils defence to score a superb, individual try. Northover made sure of maximum points with his conversion attempt.
With Spa now beginning to have more impact on the game, Danny Ruyssevelt
created more problems for Sils with a clever run, which eventually allowed Holland to have another charge at the visitors, creaking defence.
At half time, Sils must have been concerned that all of their dominance had come to nothing and seeing Spa’s growing momentum, there were ominous signs for them, for the second half.
Half Time: 7 – 7
If Sils had any half time concerns, they were certainly warranted as Spa tore into attack from the restart. Ruyssevelt, tigerish as ever at the breakdown, was first to get into stride, then young prop, Serg Paddan broke clear. Centre, Simon Tyler had another race up field and then Cleary showed some of his trickery in his armoury. With Spa in the ascendancy, they won a penalty in Sils territory, which Kelsey took and charged over to score before the defenders had time to catch breath. Northover added the conversion.
Further Spa pressure saw Alex Carroll
open up the visitors with a sprint and he found Tyler and Ruyssevelt in support, with the latter racing over for another score, converted by Northover.
Sils did have one moment of promise as they caught Spa with a converted try, but it was soon business as usual with some more deceptive play from Cleary. Then Carroll and full back, Simon Dudley
combined to tease the visitors and in the sweltering heat, Spa were once again asking all of the questions.
Northover hit Sils with a quick break that Carroll continued, with support from Tyler and skipper, Nick
Maxwell. With defenders trying to rescue the situation, Maxwell calmly slipped his pass to Cleary who dived in to score.
Sharman hit Sils further with a break down the far wing and as the ball was recycled, Carroll hit the gas to split the visitors defence. He had a man on his outside, an easy option, but such is the vision of Spa’s “Merlin”, he switched his pass inside to Tyler, a move that caught every one cold and allowed the big Centre to race in for Spa’s last score of the game.
In the dying moments, Sils pegged a try back, but in a “game of two halves” Spa were “top dollar”. Their back division had proved decisive on the day but make no mistake; Spa’s pack had come through a very testing first half to finish the game the stronger.
Full Time: 31 – 19
Next week Spa continue league duty with a trip to Upton-on-Severn, kick-off 3.00pm.