RUGBY: Youngsters shine as Spalding RFC slump

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MARKET RASEN & LOUTH 32 SPALDING RFC 12: Defeat in Saturday’s bruising Lincolnshire derby leaves Town with it all to do if they are to stave off relegation in Midlands One East once again.

Looking for a win to get themselves closer to their rivals, Spalding are now some seven points from safety.

Although staying up is not an impossible task, the trip to the only other Lincolnshire side in the division was one they’d earmarked for maximum points .

To make matters worse, Town lost the talismanic Harry Sharman to a nasty head injury 20 minutes in.

Having been on the front foot for much of the opening exchanges, the Spalding skipper and Rob Lucas raced for the ball within ten metres of Rasen try line. They both arrived together and their heads collided, resulting in the latter being subbed off.

The hosts took advantage of the enforced change and opened the scoring with a penalty five minutes later.

That soon became 10-0 when, after kicking for touch from a penalty, Rasen won a lineout and fed their right wing, who scored a converted try in the corner.

Five more points were added before half time, as a break from the home centres resulted in another score, this time unconverted.

Although Town had the advantage of the slope in the second period, an early knock-on near their own line allowed Rasen to run in yet another unconverted try.

Spalding refused to give in though and finally grabbed a try when teen Rhys Thomson passed to fellow young gun Harry Harrison for a converted try.

However, two more home scores – one of which was converted – moved Rasen into an unassailable 32-7 advantage with time running out.

There was still time for another Spalding starlet to get his name on the scoresheet. Callum Thomson, twin brother of Rhys, collected the ball and stepped inside a defender before using his strength to go over for an unconverted try.

Once again, the showing of Town’s youngsters was the only real bonus on another tough day at the office.

Spalding RFC: Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Craig Dowse, Jimmy Rowlands, Ash Anker, Ed Duerden, Ben Williams, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Rhys Thomson, Dan Adams, Ryan Chappell, Harry Harrison, Harry Winch, Ben Williamson, Peter Shakespeare, Callum Thomson and Adam McHugh.

Sat: Town v Paviors (2.15pm).