Market Rasen 7 pts : Spalding 24 pts
A convincing win sees Spalding storm into the semis.
Spalding chose this top of the table clash to put in their best performance of the season so far.
With a dominant pack of forwards that managed five strikes against the head, and crisp handling by forwards and threequarters they ensured that their opponents were never in the game.
From the kick off, Spalding pressurised Market Rasen and following a series of rucks, the ball came loose and was pounced on by J J Faulkner, he set up a position for Corey Lewis to drive on, he was stopped short but managed to off load to Oliver Johnson to cross the line wide out on the left. The conversion unfortunately sailed just wide.
Spalding were firing on all cylinders and soon regained a position inside the Rasen 22. Eventually, a Rasen clearing kick was gathered by Mark Hendy who made good ground and cleverly drew his tackler before setting Corey Lewis free to race down the touchline to score another un-coverted try.
By now the Spalding forwards had taken charge of the scrum and were winning more than their share at ruck and maul, this together with excellent service from Edward King at scrum half was allowing the Spalding fly half and threequarters to dictate the game. In the 22nd minute a Rasen player was caught in possession just outside his 22 and the Spalding forwards drove the maul towards the line, Rasen managed to secure possession but the relieving kick was charged down by Corey Lewis who followed it through to force a scrum five metres out. From the scrum and resulting ruck, Will Fletcher was stopped just short but Corey Lewis was able to pick up and force his way over for a try which Oliver Johnson converted. For a half time score of Market Rasen- Nil : Spalding - 17.
The second half began with Rasen making a determined effort to get back into the game and with a number of drives, managed to force an attacking scrum, five meters out however, a superb effort by the Spalding eight saw another strike against the head and a clearing kick from Oliver Johnson took play up to half way. There followed a superb period of play by Spalding with inter-passing between forwards and backs with noteable contributions from J J Faulkner, Will Fletcher, Luke Jones , Harry Wilkinson-Roberts and Tom Birdseye , who had an outstanding match, contesting every ruck and maul and tackling like a deamon, eventually leading to Oliver Johnson just clipping the touch line with his heel as he was in the act of touching the ball down. Spalding then secured the ball at the lineout, it was passed out to Mark Hendy who cut back in and forced his way through a group of Rasen defenders to score beneath the posts. Oliver Johnson converted.
With the game won and a few minor knocks, Spalding began to ease their vice-like grip on the game and Rasen were able to score a consolation converted try just before final whistle.
Altogether a fine team performance, with every player contributing at a high level, we now await to see who our opponents will be in the semis.
After the game, the coaching team nominated Corey Lewis as Man of the Match but stressed that there were a number of contenders.
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