RUGBY: Town stay hot on the leaders’ heels

ON THE CHARGE: Harry Harrison ran in two tries for Town.
ON THE CHARGE: Harry Harrison ran in two tries for Town.

NOTTINGHAM CASUALS 6 SPALDING RFC 32: Spalding RFC’s relentless pursuit of Midlands Two East (North) leaders Belgrave continued with a third bonus-point victory in as many weeks.

Second-placed Town made light work of struggling Casuals in Nottingham on Saturday, with Harry Harrison (2), Ed Duerden and Rob Lucas all running in tries.

With Belgrave also taking maximum points at Loughborough, Spalding remain six points behind them with a game in hand.

Two penalties from the increasingly impressive James West put Town 6-0 ahead in the early stages, but Casuals did halve that deficit with a successful kick of their own on the 20 minute mark.

Then came the first Town try, scored after they won a scrum some ten metres out.

The ball was wheeled to the right and number eight Ed Duerden broke from the base and crashed over the line at full stretch. West converted to put the visitors 13-3 ahead at half time.

Having made a few changes at half time, Spalding were soon putting their hosts under a great deal of pressure.

Just four minutes into the second period they won a lineout 20 metres out. The ball went along the three quarter line to young winger Harrison, who was over in the corner. Although the conversion attempt went wide, Town boasted a healthy lead.

A 22-metre penalty did move Nottingham three points closer to Spalding, but that was to be their final notch of the scoreboard.

Spalding’s third try came when they won a lineout in their own half. Full back Ed Booth made good ground before linking with his captain Harry Sharman.

Duerden then made the break on the left before getting the ball away to Harrison, who crossed for his second try – and left a simple conversion for West.

With the game all but won, Town now needed the fourth try that would give them an extra point – and they didn’t have to wait long for it.

Immediately from the restart Spalding broke clear from their half with prop forward Alex Ioannou leading the charge. He made 40 metres before being stopped close to the line. The ball quickly came back from the forwards and Lucas stepped inside his marker before touching down.

West converted to complete another fine victory.

Spalding RFC : Harry Sharman (captain), Alex Ioannou, Wes Cope, Pete Waudby, Tom Duerden, Tim Waltham, Richie Craig, Ed Duerden, Ben Williams, James West, Rob Lucas, George Brown, Ryan Chappell, Harry Harrison, Ed Booth, Sam Cooke, Harry Brown and Hamish Munroe.

• Sat: Town v Oakham (3pm).