SPALDING RFC 27 KETTERING 10: Wing wizard Harry Harrison bagged four tries to leave Kettering spellbound on Saturday – and guide Town to their first league win of the season.
After eight fruitless Midlands One East outings, Spalding’s season got the shot in the arm it so badly needed at the Memorial Field, with Tom Duerden also touching down.
Although the bonus-point victory doesn’t lift Town off the bottom of the standings, it leaves them within striking distance of rivals Loughborough and Peterborough.
Skipper Harry Sharman paid tribute to his side for keeping their heads in what proved a real relegation dogfight. He said: “This was a game we’d targeted and it’s a massive relief to get that first win. You could tell both teams have been struggling, it was a physical battle.
“Credit must go to our boys, we kept our heads. Harry was there to finish off some excellent moves and every player can be proud of themselves.”
On a windy day, the result was all that mattered for hosts Spalding.They started well too, opening the scoring on 15 minutes from a lineout.
Duerden made a bursting run before passing to left winger Dan Adams, who in turn passed inside to the supporting Harrison to score his first try wide out. Dave Hankinson missed the conversion on a tough day for kicking.
Kettering did level the scores before half time though, driving over the line after an attack down the right yielded a lineout.
The experienced Ben Williams moved to scrum-half as Spalding shuffled their pack after the break – and they went ahead again when Harrison cut inside and outpaced the opposition to score under the posts following a scrum. Hankinson converted – the only successful kick of the day from either side.
Once again Kettering replied with a try, but strong play by Sharman from a lineout allowed Duerden to go over and restore Town’s cushion back to nine points.
This spurred Spalding on and they enjoyed a fantastic final ten minutes. Sharman was again prominent with a pacy burst to lay on Harrison’s hat-trick score and all but wrap up the points. Not done there, the hosts scored again from a scrum. Harry Brown picked up the ball from the base and passed to Sharman, who then sent Harrison off on another strong run for the line. Again, he skinned the defence to score in the corner and send the vocal home crowd away happy.
Town: Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Jimmy Rowlands, Sam Cooke, Mark Haighton, Alex Coates, Tom Duerden, Ed Duerden, Rob Lucas, Dave Hankinson, Harry Harrison, Ryan Chappell, Sion Williams, Dan Adams, Ben Williamson, Ollie Lake, Harry Brown and Ben Williams.