SPALDING RFC 52 LEIGHTON BUZZARD 26: RED-hot Town racked up their highest Midlands One East points haul of the season – and gained an element of revenge on their bogey side.
Fresh off the back of last week’s heavy loss to leaders Syston, Ollie Phillips ran in a hat-trick to guide Harry Sharman’s side to a memorable success.
Having lost 54-22 in the reverse back in September, this performance shows how far Town have come in their maiden season at this level.
It only took five minutes for Spalding to open their account, writes GEOF NICHOLS.
After kicking for touch Spalding won the ball and passed it across the three quarter line before coming back the other way.
Skipper Sharman broke the defensive line and passed outside him to winger Phillips, who cut in field twice to beat three defenders before touching down for the first try. Dave Hankinson added the conversion.
Buzzard were next to score with a penalty after Spalding had been penalised for killing the ball – and received a yellow card for the sin.
Still, Spalding extended their lead when Phillips made a break through the opposition’s defence to cross for his second try.
But it only took two minutes for the visitors to come back with another penalty – and soon after a missed catch by a home back allowed them in for their first try.
Buzzard then shocked the hosts with another try to race into the lead for the first time.
However, Town managed a crucial score before the break. Sharman made a 50 metre break and offloaded to Tom Duerden, who scored under the posts. Hankinson converted.
They started the second period well too. Spalding won the ball and Sharman again broke clear before laying on a try for Ben Williamson.
Buzzard replied with an instant try of their own, but the next 20 minutes was Spalding’s purple patch and they excelled in most moves.
Sharman was first on the scoresheet after a neat exchange with Tom Duerden, with his try converted by Hankinson.
The next score came from a break by Ed Duerden, who outpaced the visitors defence for 50 metres to score under the post. Again Hankinson converted, taking the score to 38-23.
In keeping with the game, Leighton hit back with a penalty, but Spalding were not finished.
After Town won the ball from a line-out Phillips used his pace to create an opportunity for Mark Haighton to cross the line under the post for a try which Hankinson again converted.
The final try came from flying winger Phillips, who neatly bisected the opposition defence and was tackled just as he was about to cross the line. But he had the momentum and was able to stretch to notch up his third try.
Hankinson converted, as Town moved further clear of the foot.
Town: Harry Sharman, Joel Riddle, Craig Dowse, Peter Shakespeare, Tom Duerden, Mark Haighton, Ed Duerden, Harry Brown, Rob Lucas, Dave Hankinson, Ollie Phillips, Sion Williams, Ben Hoyles, Ryan Chappell, Ben Williamson, Andy Branton, Ash Anker and Adam McHugh.
• Saturday – Derby v Town (3pm).