Spa had a positive start to the game
Not for the first time this season, Leamington’s scoreline gives scant recognition to the their performance
Not for the first time this season, Leamington’s scoreline gives scant recognition to the their performance, on a day when a couple of lapses in defence and a couple of pieces of clever play, brought the visitors 28 points. The “Moorefield Men” continue to give full commitment to each game and their meagre six points is more a testament to the strength of this League, than the weakness of the squad.
Spa had a positive start to the game, when on five minutes, Simon Magill halted a Stratford attack with a solid tackle and set his backline on a chase across the field. “Patch” Northover sent Simon Dudley off on a race down the nearside flank and the clever Fly-Half found Mark Baldwin in support and fed the versatile Forward, who crashed over in the corner. Northover was just off target with the difficult conversion attempt.
Stratford hit back with a Penalty goal, but Spa soon increased their lead with some more solid play. Mark Roden and Adam Preece combined to run at the Stratford defence; Si Dudley gave support and sent Northover in for direct run towards the Try line, however, Stratford managed to clear the ball. From the resulting lineout, Spa’s big Lock, Simon Harry, claimed the ball and once again Spa were testing the visitors defence. The hosts won a scrum and Roden, at No 8, picked up, fed Northover who quickly fed winger, Nick Molesworth who in turn skipped around his opposite number and raced in.
From the restart, Stratford hit back and although Spa’s Gordon Jackson stopped the first charge with some robust defending, the visitors forced their way over for a score.
Leamington then cashed-in on some Stratford indiscipline, as Northover sent over a 40 metre Penalty. At 13 – 8 and half an hour on the clock, Spa were looking good value. Stratford, however, caught then napping as the half drew to a close, first with a well worked converted Try, then a Penalty, followed by another converted score.
Half-Time: 13 – 25
Spa were still in positive mode, despite the disappointing end to the first half, as Northover sent in a chip, which wing, John Raby, just failed to latch on to. Magill and Jackson continued to give Stratford a hard time with some very solid tackling and when Spa won an early penalty, Si Dudley caught them cold with a superb “show and go” dummy, which created a gap and allowed Preece in for a fine Try.
The Leamington scrum was very steady, despite conceding weight and height to the visitors and all in all, Spa were competing strongly against this solid, mid-table side. As Spa tried to get back into the game they were at times over-committing themselves and Stratford capitalised on this situation with a breakaway score. Then Spa fell to some very clever play by the visitors Fly-Half, who carved out an opening for himself and in quick succession, Leamington had conceded 14 points.
In the final moments of the game, Stratford completed the scoring with a final converted Try.
Full-Time: 18 – 54
Next week, Spa entertain Nuneaton Old Ed’s, kick-off 3.00pm.