SPALDING RFC: Phillips haul eases Town’s drop fears

Jumping for joy: Ollie Phillips goes over for Spalding RFC's only try. Photo by TIM WILSON
Jumping for joy: Ollie Phillips goes over for Spalding RFC's only try. Photo by TIM WILSON
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Spalding RFC 10 Newark RFC 5: TOWN kicked their losing run to the kerb with a battling Memorial Field victory on Saturday.

Having lost three Midlands One East games on the spin, Spalding find themselves in something of a relegation dogfight.

Ollie Phillips scored all of the points for Harry Sharman’s side in a low scoring game, converting his own try in the first half before kicking a routine penalty.

Having lost by only three points in the reverse encounter, Spalding had high hopes of ending their two-month league drought.

All of the scoring came in the first period, with Sharman denied an early score after taking a quick penalty.

The Town pressure continued to mount on the Newark line, and a further penalty to hosts resulted in a catch and drive by the forwards before they were stopped.

A penalty to Newark allowed them to clear their lines, but the home side had other ideas and the ball was gathered in the centre by Tom Duerden, who broke the defensive line before the ball went to full back Phillips.

He used his pace and guile to go round the defence before crossing the line to score the first try under the posts. The simple conversion was made by the try scorer.

It took nearly until the end of the first half before a scoring opportunity came again for Spalding.

Persistent foul play after numerous warnings resulted in one of the Newark forwards receiving a yellow card.

And Town were able to capitalise, as from a line-out in the Newark 22 metre area all the forwards drove towards the line and their greater numbers brought them within touching distance of the line.

Newark’s defence had gone offside though, leaving a simple penalty for Phillips to stretch the lead to ten points.

The away side had other ideas though, as their winger scored an unconverted try in the corner to reduce the deficit.

Newark missed two opportunities to increase their score with kickable penalties after the break, while Phillips also spurned an opportunity.

The visitors also had a man given a red card, while two yellow cards for Spalding players left the hosts with a nervy last few minutes.

But the defence held firm, securing a sixth league win of the season.

The success moves them eight points clear of the bottom two and they are now only four points off seventh place. Such a finish would be a fantastic achievement for a promoted side.

Spalding RFC: Harry Sharman (captain), Peter Shakespeare, Craig Dowse, Andy Branton, Tom Duerden, Ed Duerden, Phil Taylor, Andy Hoyles, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Rob Howliston, Ben Williamson, Adam McHugh, George Brown, Ollie Phillips, Joel Riddle, Mark Haighton and Lance Charity.

Saturday - Coalville v Town (2.15pm).