Much Anticipated Clash Ends in Disappointment for Spalding
Despite excellent performances leading up to this match Spalding were unable to maintain their momentum.
There was much excited anticipation of Saturday’s local derby match against Kesteven with the teams separated by a single point in the league. With four wins on the bounce Spalding recent form being excellent but Kesteven earlier in the season at their ground had claimed the honours and were looking to do the double.
Making is debut at hooker for Spalding was Aaron Coupe, with Luke Turner also in at lock but Captain Richard Cooke had been able to select all the remaining players from last week’s team who had performed so well away at Grimsby.
The opening exchanges were dominated by the forwards testing each other out in the scrum and open play. Spalding infringed at the tackle area and Kesteven’s fly half Chris Galloway slotted the penalty kick between the posts. Scrum half Ben Shields and fly half Dan Adams were linking well. Spalding gained territory and from a ruck the ball was passed to Adams who broke through a couple of tackles with his powerful running and was over the try line and with a simple conversion for Ashton Capes the early lead was now with Spalding.
Kesteven responded with their forwards carrying the ball well and their scrum half controlling the game. Defending in their half Spalding started to concede a series of penalties, automatically giving territory and possession away to the visitors. With their lineout working well pressure started to mount.
Pete Waudby was caught coming in at the side of a ruck and was yellow carded, with the penalty being successfully kicked. Kesteven continues to press and Ash Piccaver was caught deliberately knocking on, as he failed to intercept a pass , which these days is an automatic yellow card.
With a two man advantage Kesteven’s number eight took advantage cutting through a weakened defence to score by the posts successfully converted for a six point lead. Spalding tackled and defended well clearing their lines with good relieving kicks until their numbers were restored with no further score conceded .
Half time was approaching but Spalding were starting to find room with the ball getting out to their backs. Ashton Capes beat a couple of Kesteven tackles with his pace and rounded the last attempted tackle to score near the posts and with his successful conversion Spalding had a one point lead at the break.Shortly after the restart Spalding gave a further penalty kick away, which was successfully kicked. Kesteven were now retaining and using the ball better than Spalding who were starting to struggle to get possession.
George Brown took a knock whilst tackling and was replaced by Willis Ingleby. Kesteven continued to build momentum and increased their lead when poor positioning by Spalding defending a ruck left a big hole for Kesteven’s number eight to run through unchallenged.
Spalding brought on fresh legs with Jason Steels into the back row, with Will Shields reverting to scrum half as Ben Shields was substituted, but Kesteven were now dominating territory and their centre, with a powerful run broke a tackle and was clear through for their fourth, bonus point, try to secure their win.
During the second half Spalding were unable to get their game going, with Kesteven retaining possession extremely well helped by the number of unforced errors and penalties given away by the home team. Spalding will need to rediscover their intensity displayed in recent weeks along as next week they travel away to runaway league leaders Long Eaton.
Team, Pete Waudby, Aaron Coupe, Pete Smith, Luke Turner, Ash Piccaver, Will Shields, Captain Richard Cooke, Harry Brown, Ben Shields, Dan Adams, Ashton Capes, George Brown, Adam McHugh, Fin Peters, George Douglas, Subs Harry Cole, Jason Steels, Willis Ingleby