SPALDING RFC 39 PAVIORS RFC 0: Inspired Town delivered the performance of their lives as they kick-started another Midlands One East ‘great escape’ in sensational style.
Skipper Harry Sharman ran in a hat-trick of tries to guide Spalding to a flawless Memorial Field victory on Saturday – a result that moves them within three points of safety.
Before the clash respected coach Niall Thomson admitted his side would need up to five wins to beat relegation this season – and on this evidence, that target now looks much more achievable.
Amazingly, visitors Paviors – who won the 2012 reverse 56-0 – went into the game some 36 points clear of Town. With that in mind, talismanic captain Sharman hailed his side.
“What a cracking performance,” beamed Sharman. “We defended really well and put them under lots of pressure.
“Dave Hankinson was outstanding at 10, as was Rob Lucas at nine. Ash Ankar at five had his best game for us too.
“It’s great not to concede any points and to score 39 is just outstanding.
“Getting a cheeky little hat-trick myself was nice too.”
Town got the ball rolling on 22 minutes when Sharman broke from the base of the scrum, outpaced the defence and touched down. The returning Dave Hankinson missed the conversion.
From the re-start, a break by scrum-half Rob Lucas took him clear of Paviors defence. He passed to his supporting captain Sharman who used his pace, strength and guile to cross the line again in the corner. Hankinson missed once more, but 10-0 after 25 minutes was a cracking start.
The scores kept coming, as Hankinson atoned for his missed kicks by scooping the ball up and running 50 metres to touch down under the posts – leaving an easier conversion.
Next to score was winger Kevin Childs, who side-stepped three defenders and used his strength to fly past the other defenders for a fine try. The conversion went wide.
Not done there, Town scored again before the break when Sharman gathered the ball and broke through the defence before passing to Hankinson to score his second try.
Again the conversion went wide – despite a change in kickers – but 27-0 represented a stunning half for the hosts.
Spalding’s superiority continued in the second half, but they had to wait until the final ten minutes to add to their advantage. First Ed Duerden went over after a quickly-taken penalty five yards out, with Hankinson converting.
There was still time for Sharman to complete his try treble after a lineout, forcing his way over the line with great support from the forwards. Again the conversion missed, but a massive bonus-point win was already in the bag.
Spalding RFC: Harry Sharman, Pete Waudby, Ollie Lake, Sam Cooke, Mark Haighton, Ash Anker, Ed Duerden, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Dave Hankinson, Dan Adams, Ryan Chappell, Ben Williamson, Kevin Childs, Adam McHugh, Craig Dowse, Callum Thomson and Rhys Thomson.
• Saturday: Town v Old Northamptonians (2.15pm).