Spalding travelled to bottom of the league St Neots on Saturday knowing that only a win would be acceptable if they were going to start climbing back up the table
Fielding a strong team, with minimal changes from the previous week, the opening minutes saw a slow start by Spalding and the home team took early advantage pressing forward and with their forwards and backs combining well they went under the posts for a converted try after seven minutes
St Neots set scrum was, for the first half, a match for Spalding’s pack, whilst Spalding’s backs looked more threatening but were finding it difficult to find space and to get there passing game going
After 20 minutes Willis Ingleby came off the bench to take the fly half birth, with Conell Mason moving to full back and Gav Sharman to his more familiar left wing position with Callum Lewis onto the subs bench
An immediate effect was seen, as flanker Ryan Chappell made a typical tackle busting run and a pass out to Gav Sharman saw him outpace St Neots defence for Spalding’s opening try
Minutes later Sharman thought he was in for his second try but a foot in touch ruled his effort out.
Steadily Spalding were seeing more of the ball with Harry Sharman controlling matters at the base of the scrum and with Ash Anker winning his own lineout possession the backs with Captain Dan Adams prominent were starting to dictate play
With lineout possession secured by Sharman, scrum half Wilson Crowson set play up with a crash ball move and Anker was there to burst through, just before half time, for his first try with Spalding having a hard fought three point lead at the break.
Straight from the kick off Spalding were on the front foot pinning St Neots back deep in their half with good carries seen from Luke Turner and John Barrett setting up a position five metres out from the try line, Peter Waudby drove forward followed by Harry Brown but it was Harry Cole who reached out for the try line.
Jacob Greaves came off the bench for Luke Turner and was immediately in the action with a lovely pick up and off load. The backs swiftly transferred the ball out to Matt Holmes and with a strong run and a side step he was over with Mason converting
Within five minutes Anker was bursting through the middle, breaking a couple of tackles for his second try. Job done, he was replaced by Harry Exley off the bench
Wilson Crowson then demonstrated what a good scrum half he is becoming. From a ruck St Neots guard defence was weak and Crowson soon darted through, stepped the incoming tackle and charged through the next to score under the posts, converted by Mason
Lewis was now back on the wing replacing Holmes for the last twenty minutes with Mason also back up to fly half, Ingleby to outside centre and Taylor Crowson to full back. This switch enabled Mason to put in a couple of long kicks pinning St Neots back in their half
Spalding’s pressure again told as Chappell once more showed his turn of pace, with St Neots struggling to organise in defence, and he sailed passed defenders to score under the posts
This was a confident display by Spalding, showing more patience and teamwork as they steadily built pressure knowing that their fitness would tell in the second half.
However Spalding’s form will be truly tested next Saturday as they go to Stockwood Park, who are riding high at the top of the league
Team Peter Waudby, John Barrett, Luke Turner, Ash Anker, Harry Brown, Harry Cole, Ryan Chappell, Harry Sharman, Wilson Crowson, Conell Mason, Callum Lewis , Dan Adams, Taylor Crowson, Matt Holmes, Gav Sharman Subs Willis Ingleby, Jacob Greaves, Harry Exley