Mass brawl brings an early end to festival

Rugby News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk/sport, @FreePressSport on Twitter
Rugby News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk/sport, @FreePressSport on Twitter
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Spalding RFC under 15 boys took part in the five-team Harrogate Rugby Festival and came out of it with credit in more ways than one.

The tournament gave the boys a chance to make up for the cancellation of a spring tour to the West Country because of the recent bad weather in south-east England.

In their first match against Old Rishworthians, Spalding started strongly and Alex Worth, Luke Jones and Will Fletcher all went close to scoring.

But Rishworth profited from handling errors by Spalding which led to unconverted and converted tries for their opponents.

Spalding tried hard to reduce the deficit but patchy form resulted in them suffering a 12-0 defeat.

The second match against Harrogate was a hotly contested affair in which Spalding’s Will Fletcher set up an opening for Adam Castle to run in an unconverted try.

Fletcher later touched down himself for another unconverted try as Spalding dug deep to win 10-5.

After other results, Spalding’s third match against Driffield was crucial to the boys’ chances of winning the tournament.

But instead, they tasted defeat for the second time by 10-7 after an inconsistent display.

The tournament winners should have been decided when Old Rishworthians met Lymm.

But as the game drew to a close with Rishworthians in a match-winning position, a massed brawl broke out where a Lymm player attacked the touch judge.

The game was abandoned and after much discussion, Spalding decided to withdraw from the competition having thought that the brawl was so serious and incident, it would be wrong to play on.

It should be said though that the behaviour of Spalding’s team was exemplary and the atmosphere created by them in the stands from where they supported the other teams drew compliments from rival players and supporters.

The eventful weekend did end on a high though for Will Fletcher who was awarded the man of the tournament prize for Spalding.