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1st XV - Match centre

Spartans (Midlands)
Sat 21 Apr 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 2 West (North) Full time

Ludlow 56 Spartans 14

Ludlow finish off in style.

It was President's Day, the sun shone and Ludlow put on a vintage display of running rugby to beat a side that looked nailed on to finish third in the league but ended up fourth thanks to The Linney team.

It was the same Ludlow team that took to the field last week and found it so hard to beat lowly Old Saltleians but you would never have known it. This was a team working for each other, playing phases,recycling and offloading as if they belonged in a league above.

They ran angles and secondary waves of attack that had the Spartans defence grappling at fresh air. The Ludlow forwards ensured a sound platform and no ball for Spartans to work with while the backs revelled in a firm pitch and the sun on their backs.

scrum half Rhys Perkins chipped ahead to give winger Will Sparrow a try with less than a minute on the clock. Perkins' clever loop around gave centre Will Hodnett the opening he needed to go in under the posts moments later. Sparrow converted both.

Spartans rallied and a period of pressure produced an overlap which would have been a certain try. Ludlow full back Joe Doyle stopped the move with a high tackle which resulted in a yellow card for him and a penalty try. A Will Sparrow penalty completed the half, leaving Ludlow 20-7 in the lead and well in command.

Ludlow centre Jack Lines set the tone for the second half. Following the kick off he put pressure on the full back and charged down his clearance to run in for a try converted by Sparrow.

Another loop round move had Sparrow on the board soon after and then it was Joe Doyle s turn to take the score to 37-7. At this point Ludlow seemed to completely switch off and their kick off was fielded by the Spartans full back who ran three quarters the length of the field evading tackles to score at the other end.

It had the desired effect on Ludlow and Sparrow was immediately back on the scoreboard fielding a clever kick pass at full tilt to run in his hat trick. A lovely break by Will Hodnett and a pass to Matt Davies who flipped the ball on as he was tackled to Sam Thomas who still had plenty to do to score in the corner.

Jack Lines added the final score with a fine solo effort. His running lines throughout the match earned him the man of the match award but the hard running lines of second rows Jim Alderson and Stefan Anthony also caught the eye.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Whitchurch 21 98
2. Crewe & Nantwich 22 80
3. Leek 21 69
4. Spartans (Midlands) 22 66
5. Ludlow 22 62
6. Veseyans 22 57
7. Walsall 22 53

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