With the clock indicating time up, Stockwood Park, were awarded a scrum 10 metres in from touch, with the referee calling last play. All the home team had to do was kick the ball out to win the game.
Spalding’s scrum had been getting stronger throughout the game and as the home teams scrum half feed the ball in, a shove forward disrupted the scrum, but Stockwood were just in control with the ball back at the feet of their number eight
He decided to pick up and kick to touch, but taking time to execute his kick allowed Harry Sharman to be on him and charge down the kick. Sharman re-gathered the ball and set up a ruck.
Spalding were now in possession 25 metres from the try line. In wet and slippery conditions the order of the day was pick, drive, ruck. Encouraged by scrum half Harry Exley, Spalding started to edge step by step towards the Stockwood’s try line, with all the forwards taking it in turns to crash forward
John Barrett and Harry Cole had big hits along with Pete Waudby and Jacob Greaves. The try line was now in reach and Sharman was held up. Stockwood infringed, penalty advantage to Spalding inside the last five metres.
After 15 phases of play and 5 minutes of added time, Ash Ankar finally was able to force his way over the line to snatch victory and with Conall Mason converting the players reacted with jubilant celebrations, showing what this outstanding win meant.
This was a deserved victory as Spalding on balance had been the better team. But it did not start out that way with a penalty conceded with the first few minutes, successfully converted and after a quarter of an hour with Spalding pressing a Sharman pass was intercepted with the Stockwood centre running the length of the pitch for a 10 point lead
Undeterred, Spalding pressed forward with the backs led by fly half Mason and centre,Dan Adams, giving no room to Stockwood. With a couple of forward drives by Luke Turner, Sharman was able to squeeze over the try line for a converted try
Spalding were caught offside, one of several lapses, as half time approached, with the penalty kicked Stockwood’s lead was back to six points. Spalding were still making good ground with colt, Miguel D’Silva at lock making his first start, impressing with his carries. With the try line begging to be crossed Spalding knocked on and then they were held up over the try line with the half time whistle being blown
Within a couple of minutes Spalding started to turn the tables as centre, Willis Ingleby scored a superb individual try. From the half way line he broke down the right had side, kicked over the advancing defence, a further controlled grubber kick followed and then the touch down.
Playing fullback Gav Sharman had a couple of notable counterattacks and Mason was also impressing with his distribution and his tactical kicking pinning Stockwood back deep in their half. Captain, Dan Adams stepped forward with a typically strong run, breaking two tackles to go over to give Spalding a four point lead
However Stockwood’s strong running fly half nearly broke Spalding’s efforts, as he was allowed run through five attempted tackles to score and with the conversion Spalding had 15 minutes remaining to overturn the league leaders three points advantage, which they eventually achieved in added time
What a match.
To win away at the league leaders, who had not lost a match this season, was a superb team effort and hopefully a good morale booster with four challenging matches coming up over the next few weeks start on Saturday away to Manor Park, Nuneaton in the quarter finals of the RFU Vase Cup.
Team:- Peter Waudby, John Barrett, Luke Turner, Miguel D’Silva, George Berry, Ash Anker, Harry Cole, Harry Sharman, Harry Exley, Conall Mason, Callum Lewis, Dan Adams, Willis Ingleby, Ben Shields, Gav Sharman, Subs Jacob Greaves, Jake Read, Jordan Templer