SPALDING RFC: Bonus tries buoy Town despite loss

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DERBY RFC 49 SPALDING RFC 24: SPIRITED Spalding ran in four tries on Saturday but were eventually outgunned by their high-flying hosts.

Derby attacked from the off in this Midlands One East clash and, after successive line-outs, they set up a rolling maul from 18 metres out to drive over for an unconverted score, writes SUE JULLIEN.

More home pressure then caught Spalding offside, with the successful penalty making it 8-0 after 15 minutes.

Town responded with an excellent kick from full back Adam McHugh from his own 22 to his own corner flag. The pressure on the line then resulted in a penalty, only for Dave Hankinson to hit the upright.

Derby then went on the attack again and kicked for touch in the corner. Stealing the line-out, the Derby maul went into action again – but was illegally brought down by Harry Sharman, who went to the sin bin for his offence.

Opting for a scrum, Derby were rewarded with an unconverted score in the corner.

But Town, who were still a man down, hit back and gained a line-out five metres from the home line.

Securing the ball and with quick hands from the three-quarters, Ryan Chappell dived over the line for the visitors’ first points of the afternoon. The conversion sailed wide.

With half time looming, poor defensive tackling by Town let in Derby in for an easy converted try.

Responding with some aggressive forward play, there was still time for hulking prop Joel Riddle to crash over for Town’s second unconverted try, leaving them 20-10 down at the interval.

Spalding kicked off the second half, but it wasn’t long before Derby kicked a penalty.

However, a quick response from the away side saw them move within reach of the of the try line – and a quickly-taken penalty allowed skipper Sharman in for a try.

Hankinson duly converted to put Town right back into contention.

Back came Derby, as more poor defending let the hosts in for a converted score.

Town were then thrown a lifeline as some aggressive indiscipline saw the home side reduced to 14 men.

Despite some spirited tackling from Spalding’s Harry Brown, it was Derby who scored next, though.

Tackles were missed, allowing the opposition in for a comfortable converted try.

But there was still time for Town to score again. With five minutes to play Sharman supplied a neat pass to substitute John Charlton to score under the posts. Hankinson converted.

The last word went to Derby though, as they intercepted a stray pass to go over for another converted score.

Town’s four tries did earn them a bonus point to take home with them – and not many sides have managed that against Derby this season.

Sat - Mansfield v Town (3pm).