Resurgent Spalding RFC moved out of the bottom two in Midlands One East as they secured a key 32-17 away victory in Saturday’s basement battle with Loughborough.
Harry Harrison, Dan Adams, Harry Sharman and Kevin Childs all ran in tries to guide Town to a second win on the trot, which sees them leapfrog rivals Peterborough in the table.
With a home game against Newark (Saturday, 2.15pm) and then an away derby at Market Rasen and Louth (December 22) to come before Christmas, Spalding have given themselves a great chance to put their shocking start to the season firmly behind them.
Delighted captain Sharman said: “We took our chances really well and worked extremely hard for the victory. Credit must go to all of the squad and the coaches. It’s nice to be above Peterborough in the table and I hope we can follow it up with another victory on Saturday.”
Town started much the better and grabbed the first try when Ryan Chappell passed to fellow centre Harrison, who raced 40 metres to score under the posts. Dave Hankinson duly converted. A few silly Town mistakes allowed the hosts to hit back with a converted score of their own, but a super individual effort put them back ahead.
Winger Adams intercepted a pass in his own half and ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts, leaving Hankinson another routine kick.
Loughborough managed a penalty to reduce Spalding’s advantage to 14-10, only for skipper Sharman to score an opportunist try from a quickly-taken penalty to restore their cushion. Another Hankinson conversion sent Town in 21-10 ahead at the interval.
That advantage was instantly cut in the opening stages of the second half thanks to another converted try by the home side, but Sharman wasn’t about to let his side cave in.
Hankinson and Harrison made good ground before the latter was stopped just shy of the line. Childs was backing up well though, and he dived over for try number four – securing a bonus point in the process.
The conversion failed, but Hankinson made up for his miss with two late penalties to wrap up a 32-17 winning margin. Having lost their opening eight games, Town reach the half-way stage of the season in a much healthier position than they would’ve imagined a few weeks ago.
Town: Harry Sharman, Pete Waudby, Jimmy Rowlands, Peter Shakespeare, Mark Haighton, Tom Duerden, Harry Brown, Ben Williams, Harry Winch, Dave Hankinson, Dan Adams, Ryan Chappell, Harry Harrison, Kevin Childs, Adam McHugh, Sam Cooke, Ash Anker and Ben Williamson.
• Meanwhile, Deepings lost 14-8 at Stockwood Park in Midlands Three East (South) and Bourne were beaten 43-0 at home to Oundle.
More rugby in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.
• Midlands One East: Bedford Athletic 44 Old Northamptonians 19; Ilkeston 24 Kettering 17; Loughborough 17 Spalding 32; Market Bosworth 42 Peterborough 17; Market Rasen & Louth 13 Peterborough Lions 20; Newark 18 Paviors 23; Towcestrians 26 Matlock 17.
• Midlands Three East (South): Northampton Casuals 17 Daventry 13; Queens 43 Northampton Mens Own 36; Rugby St Andrews 45 Long Buckby 19; Stewarts & Lloyds 31 Rushden & Higham 7; Stockwood Park 14 Deepings 8.
• Midlands Four East (South): Bedford Swifts 41 St Neots 10; Bourne 0 Oundle 43; Brackley 20 St Ives 0; Stamford College Old Boys (AWO) Aylestone Athletic; Thorney 30 Corby 5; Wellingborough OG 11 Westwood 13.