Heads held high but Town take heavy hit

Spalding RUFC v Derby  action and presidents day. ANL-140920-221911009
Spalding RUFC v Derby action and presidents day. ANL-140920-221911009

Spalding 8 Derby 77

The high spirits of President’s Day was tested to the full at Memorial Field where Spalding met a Derby side intent of showing anything but charity.

It took just two minutes for the visitors to take the lead through a George Castledine penalty against a Town side showing seven changes from the 15 that conceded 62 points at Bugbrooke a week earlier.

Dan Mackie, in only his second game for Spalding, replied with a penalty on five minutes.

But that was the only 
parity the home side would 
enjoy as the reality of Midlands One East rugby was about to be unfurled in a run of 55 unanswered points for Derby.

On six minutes, Derby’s 
Judah Simpson scored the first of his side’s ten tries, 
with Castledine providing 
momentary relief for Town when he failed to convert the score between the posts.

Derby’s second win of the season looked secure the 
moment Simpson went in for his second try on 13 minutes, this time converted by Castledine.

Simpson was having a 
debut to dream of for Derby as quick-thinking, slick handling and tricky movement were proving a handful for Spalding’s back division.

The bumper crowd at 
Memorial Field witnessed two more Derby tries before half-time to wrap up the 
bonus point.

Firstly, Tom Taylor-Dawes claimed a line-out as the pack drove over the Spalding line for Sam Hobbs to touch down on 21 minutes.

Then on 27 minutes, Andy Brown sprinted clear from some forlorn Spalding tackling to touch down, Castledine subsequently converting to make the half-time score 3-27.

Injured Spalding skipper Harry Sharman was powerless to do anything while watching from the sidelines, although there was brief 
respite for his side as Derby took six minutes to increase their lead to 30-3 with another Castledine penalty.

But the Derby onslaught came with a vengeance, starting with a penalty try on 48 minutes after Spalding prevented a score by not retreating 10 metres.

Ceri White scored his first try for Derby on 56 minutes, finishing off an Ollie Saffell break, and six minutes later, Simpson sprinted clear to complete his hat-trick of tries on a memorable debut.

Andy Brown made it 58-3, with a Castledine conversion, before Spalding scored a consolation try of their own through Ash Piccaver on 69 minutes.

Mackie missed the conversion and when Town saw another drive towards the Derby try line come up short, Sanjay Sharma scored twice in the space of seven minutes to make the score 72-8.

Replacement Lewis Hancock completed Derby’s domination with an unconverted try in the last minute of the match.

Not the President’s Day result Spalding wanted, despite never giving up, and their position rooted to the bottom of Midlands One East is unlikely to be made any easier by teams with the know-how of Derby.

Spalding: Dueden, Waudby, Cooke, Ioannou, Piccaver, Waltham, Finch, H Brown, Williams, Mackie, Hoyles, G Brown, Shields, Lake, Broome. Reps Haighton, Lal.