LINCOLN RFC 1st 38 SPALDING RFC 1st 46: Town’s first competitive clash of the season proved a real cracker as they edged a high scoring NLD Shield tie on Saturday.
Spalding had to come from behind three times against a Lincoln side that were playing well above their league position – which is two leagues below Spalding.
Kicking off with the slope in their favour, Town soon took the lead. From a scrum five metres out, Spalding won the ball Rob Lucas scored wide out, but his conversion missed.
Ten minutes passed before skipper Harry Sharman laid on a second score for George Brown to score in the corner. This time Lucas’ conversion was on target and the visitors had opened up a clear lead.
But a determined Lincoln side bit back as they took the ball to within 20 metres of the line and were awarded a penalty. They kicked for touch, won the ball and drove for the line to score an unconverted try.
This stung Spalding into action and from the restart their three-quarters won the ball and slipped in Lucas to score, before missing the conversion. However, with five minutes of the first half left Lincoln ran in two tries to make the scores level at 17-17 at half time.
In the second half the lead changed several times, with Lincoln going ahead with a converted try under the posts.
Sharman rallied his men and led by example, breaking through the defence before passing to Adam McHugh, before the ball was offloaded for winger Brown to score in the corner. The conversion went wide.
From the restart, Spalding produced a fine spell of inter play, resulting in Sharman crossing the line under the posts. Lucas converted to put Town 29-24 up.
More fast and furious action followed as Lincoln drove for a try from five metres out following a penalty to go back ahead, before Sharman stepped inside a defender to put McNally in for another Town score. Lucas added the to put Spalding 36-31 ahead.
Lincoln weren’t done though, as poor Spalding defending allowed them another seven points.
But with time running out run down Spalding were awarded a penalty and Lucas kicked his side one point ahead.
The decisive moment then came, as McNally – playing his final game for the club – collected a lineout and made no mistake to touch down under the posts. With Lucas adding the points, Town were home and hosed.
However, there was a sting in the tale with talismanic skipper Sharman going over on his ankle in the closing moments.
He received physio treatment as the teams left the field – making him a massive doubt for Spalding’s Midlands One East opener at home to Ilkeston on Saturday (3pm).