Basic errors so costly for Spalding

Spalding have lost seven out of eight league games
Spalding have lost seven out of eight league games
  • Midlands Two East (North) - West Bridgford 33 Spalding 12
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Spalding remain at the bottom of the table after a seventh league defeat of the season.

The conditions for Saturday’s match at West Bridgford were in complete contrast to the previous week with a firm and dry pitch, bright winter sun but a distinctly cold wind.

Ever-present Harry Brown was absent through injury – resulting in a back row of Sam Cooke and with past captains Ryan Chappell and Harry Sharman, there promised to be some added experience and leadership to the team.

In the backs Kieran Lake was in at outside centre with Huw Sharman on the right wing.

West Bridgford looked the sharper team in the opening minutes and Spalding were having to defend deep in their half.

With a scrum awarded to Spalding there was the usual worry that the home forwards, who looked more dominant, would drive the Spalding pack backwards.

The Spalding scrum held well, as it would do throughout the match, and a good clearance kick relieved pressure.

But Bridgford secured their own lineout ball, Cooke missed his tackle and the home team were seven points up.

The failure to execute a tackle led to the next try.

Bridgford were spreading the ball wide to their left-winger who was starting to give Huw Sharman no end of problems with his speed. Josh Broome, as last line of defence, failed with a poor tackle attempt and the advantage was doubled.

Basic skills continued to let Spalding down and with 20 minutes played a poor lineout throw by Cooke saw the ball turned over and the left-winger again demonstrated his pace to score near the posts for a converted try.

From the kick-off Spalding were able to press Bridgford in their own half with some sustained pressure.

A driving maul developed and Kier Moore burst forward, ball tucked under, but was held up over the line. From the scrum there was a slight wheel in Spalding’s favour and Harry Sharman from number eight crashed over on the blind side to open their account.

Again Spalding’s defensive right-hand side was exposed as Bridgford’s outside centre cut through for a half-time lead of 28-5.

With Sam Cowell having replaced Brian Browne in the forwards and Gavin Harrison making his debut in the first team coming on at outside centre with Kieran Lake moving to right wing replacing Huw Sharman, Spalding started the second half showing more determination and were quickly on the attack.

Ball was spread along the backs and Harrison was stopped five metres from the try line. Unfortunately he immediately went down with a broken ankle and an ambulance was called. As he could not be moved the match continued on an adjacent pitch. Jordan Templer came off the bench.

With Ash Piccaver winning good ball at the lineout and the forwards starting to work well at the breakdown, Chappell burst through two tackles and offloaded to Cowell in support as he sprinted over with Broome converting.

Will Shields and his opposite number were both red-carded for throwing punches at a scrum.

The final score fell to Bridgford who capitalised on a long clearance kick and a very favourable bounce as their left-winger chased down, picked up and scored.

Although Spalding edged the second half, far too many basic errors in the first half had already lost them this match.

Spalding: Barrett, Caley, Moore, Browne, Piccaver, Cooke, Chappell, Harry Sharman, Shields, McHugh, Douglas, Williams, Lake, Huw Sharman, Broome. Subs Cowell, Templer, Harrison.