Persistent rain causing difficult conditions which deteriorated through the game meant that this was going to be a test of which team could use the conditions to their advantage.
Sleaford started strongly and with their superiority at the ruck gained useful possession which resulted in an unconverted try in the right corner.
From to restart Spalding began to assert themselves and but for the difficulties posed by a wet, greasy ball would have scored when a searing break from Oliver Johnson
set up a position deep inside the Sleaford 22, the ball was swiftly moved right but unfortunately Jordan Searle
was unable to gather the pass with the line begging.
There followed further outstanding contributions from J.J. Faulkner and Alex Worth
, who put in a Man of the Match performance, before eventually Corey Lewis
was able to break two tackles and force his way over for an unconverted try, taking his personal tally over the century for the season. The half time score Spalding 5 pts : Sleaford 5 pts.
The second half saw Spalding taking charge of the game, with Sleaford penned inside their own half for most of the time. The scrum was dominant and any good possession at line out was secured by William Fletcher
and Harry Wilkinson-Roberts
, who had a strong game.
An excellent penalty kick from Oliver Johnson
set up a line-out on the Sleaford 5 metre line which resulted in a series of scrums with finally Alex Worth
barging over for an unconverted try.
Once again Spalding soon had Sleaford on the back foot, either with charging runs from Alex Worth
and Corey Lewis
, or via excellent tackling and harrying work by J.J.Faulkner and Mark Hendy
in midfield. Mark was very unlucky to be stopped inches short of the line, but as the play progressed, he popped up once again to force a handling error from Sleaford and kick the ball over the line. He would undoubtedly have scored, had he not been unfairly held back, however, Corey Lewis
was following up well to make the touchdown. Again the try was unconverted.
Spalding were soon threatening again and an excellent catch and drive from William Fletcher
and Harry Wilkinson-Roberts
created the opportunity for J.J. Faulkner to force his way over for another unconverted try.
With the game drawing to a close, Sleaford mounted a concerted attack and reached the Spalding 22 only for Corey Lewis
to intercept and race the length of the field to score under the post with the crowd going wild. He added the conversion which ended the game.
An overall, outstanding team effort by Spalding in trying conditions which should set them up well for the return leg in two weeks.
15 Jordan Searle
14 Hal Whyatt
13 Mark Hendy
12 J. J. Faulkner
11 John McManus
10 Oliver Johnson
9 Edward King
8 Alex Worth
7 Corey Lewis
6 Tom Birdseye
5 William Fletcher
4 Harry Wilkinson-Roberts
3 Peter Waltham
2 Fraser Leiper
1 James Sharpe
16 Jordan Wakefield
17 Tom Rollinson for Frasel Leiper second half
18 Jordan Lakey
for Peter Waltham
19 James Hook
for Edward King
20 Oliver Rees
for Jordan Searle
22 Andrew Eggleton