Spalding RFC 13 Bedford Athletic 31: TOWN missed out on a prized double over Bedford as the visitors grabbed a measure of revenge at the Memorial Field.
Athletic, who were two divisions higher than Spalding last season, were much stronger than the side Town beat 31-22 back in September.
A penalty on 15 minutes allowed the away side to open the scoring.
They kicked deep into the Spalding 22, won the ensuing line-out and drove for the line to score. It was simply converted.
From the re-start Town enjoyed one of their best periods of the game. First Tom Duerden was stopped just short of the line after neat play with the three quarters.
Then Ben Hoyles, Harry Sharman and Harry Brown were all involved in a move that saw skipper Sharman stopped inches shy of the line.
However, a quick penalty by Athletic saw their winger go over the line for their second score, which was neatly converted.
A similar period of play resulted in the visitor’s next score.
Spalding were constantly held up in their attacking moves but did not have the guile to breach the visitors defence, unlike Bedford, whose winger galloped clear for another converted try.
After the break Spalding finally got on the scoreboard, with two Ollie Phillips penalties sailing through the posts.
But any momentum the hosts might have gathered was extinguished by an instant Bedford try – although the conversion was comically missed.
Worse was to follow, as the away side waltzed through for another unconverted score from the re-start.
Town did have the last word though, with Sharman and Joel Riddle laying on a try for Ed Duerden under the posts.
Although Spalding finished well, they were given a severe lesson.
Town: Harry Sharman (skipper), Peter Waudby, Craig Dowse, Andy Branton, Ed Duerden, Mark Haighton, Tom Duerden, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Ben Hoyles, Ollie Phillips, Sion Williams, Dave Hankinson, Adam McHugh, Ali Sharpe, Joel Riddle, Ben Williamson, Ash Anker.
Saturday - Matlock v Spalding (2.15pm).