pride and passion are fully evident
Leamington’s Mark Baldwin took the restart ball and set Tyler off for another strong run at the Nuns defence
Spa may be relegated; however pride and passion are fully evident, testified by another resilient performance by the squad. At one stage, the “Moorefield men” were 28 points down and once again, victim of injury problems, both before the game and during it. Yet they came back with a classy, confident and constructive second half display, which nearly condemned the opposition to relegation.
Nuns opened the scoring on 6 minutes with a well worked converted Try. Spa hit back immediately with a break by Simon Tyler. Tyler was once again prominent, producing a fine tackle in which he managed to steal the ball and then set Spa off on another attack. Then Nuns came back with a converted Try following a scrum near the Spa line. The visitors continued to pen Spa back in their own 22 metre area for a concerted period of time and inevitably, increased their lead with two further converted scores in quick succession. At this stage, Spa had suffered injury to Mark Warrilow and were struggling to get to grips with the opposition.
As halt time approached, Spa’s influential Centre, Alex Carroll broke out of defence at speed and carved a superb opening down the far wing. Simon Tyler provided excellent support and carried the move on, at pace, however his final pass just failed to find its mark, as the visitors quickly tried to regroup. Nuns attempted to kick themselves out of danger, however Full Back, Adam Preece fielded the miss-kick and raced forward, slipped his pass to Tyler who needed to further help to charge over the visitors line.
Half-Time: 5 – 28
Leamington’s Mark Baldwin took the restart ball and set Tyler off for another strong run at the Nuns defence. Then Carroll and Simon Dudley linked to try to unlock the visitors defence. However, despite the promising start, Nuneaton increased their lead with another converted Try.
From the restart, Tyler was up on the opposition quickly and latched on to the ball. As he set Carroll up on a charge, Dudley closed in to support, took the ball and raced in for a fine Try.
Disappointing for Spa, they once again allowed Nuns to hit them with another converted score. Then, as a Spa attack was repelled, Mark Baldwin had to race back in defence to see the ball out, as Nuns closed in.
Leamington were certainly the most creative of the two sides at this stage, however, were still some 32 points adrift of the visitors. They hit back with some more enterprising play, initiated once again by Alex Carroll. The Centre fielded the ball on the wing slipped his pass to winger, Simon Magill, who hit Nuns with a fierce run. Big Prop and Leamington Stalwart, Terry Curran, stepped in to feed the ball superbly to Preece, who showed the defenders no mercy as he raced in under the posts. Northover slotted over the conversion. From the restart, Baldwin took the ball, fed Curran and Spa were off again. Kelsey kept the ball moving for Spa, assisted by Magill and Carroll. The latter made some space for John Raby who was quick to capitalise and get Spa another, superbly engineered, Try. Northover added maximum points.
These two quick scores had caught Nuneaton cold and as the visitors replied, Northover stopped them with a robust tackle, and then Curran acted as pivot to allow Spa to clear the ball.
Unfortunately, Spa were caught napping, down the blindside, from a scrum and allowed Nuneaton in for another converted Try.
Undeterred by this set back to their resurgence in the second half, Spa continued to pressurise Nuns. Northover had a darting run up the far flank. Then Carroll broke again, with a lightening turn of speed, found Dudley on his shoulders and Spa were over for another converted Try. The quality of the attack play, at this stage was inconsistent with a side languishing at the foot of the table and Nuneaton were holding on by a whisker.
Spa were on full power now and when they were awarded a penalty in midfield, Raby took control, raced up the park and sent Carroll for another high calibre Try.
All credit to Spa for a resounding performance despite the disruption to the side, which has been a problem from game one of this season. Lock, Simon harry put in his usual high tempo performance, Danny Philips gave no quarter and resilient Terry Curran was in top form. No one can question the spirit of the squad in these difficult, albeit, transitory times.
Full Time: 36 – 49
Next week, Spa take time off from league rugby and return in a fortnight, with a trip to Old Halesonians, kick-off 3.00pm.