SPALDING RFC: Sharman salutes side as away hoodoo is banished

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PAVIORS RFC 28 SPALDING RFC 34: TERRIFIC Town ended their year-long wait for an away win in sensational style on Saturday.

Captain fantastic Harry Sharman ran in two tries against third-placed Paviors, while Kevin Childs, Josh McNally and Richie Craig also got in on the act.

Having suffered a humiliating 73-6 loss in the Memorial Field reverse, this was some turnaround from relegation-threatened Town.

Delighted skipper Sharman said: “To finally win away – and in that style – is very special. Not many people would have expected us to win there, but I always knew that this team had it in them.

“We made no major changes in personnel, it was simply a change in attitude.

“Games against the top teams have brought out the best in us, but we need to match that kind of performance every week.

“It’s not been a great season, but hopefully we can now kick on and get ourselves into mid-table – we should be looking up, not down.”

Spalding had all of the elements in their favour during the first half in Nottinghamshire, with the wind behind them as they attacked down an ample slope.

They started superbly, with McNally making good ground in the centre of the field before passing to Sharman.

He brilliantly broke through three tackles before touching down under the posts, leaving Dave Hankinson a simple conversion.

Hosts Paviors, who are battling for promotion, instantly hit back with a score in the corner, though. With the conversion failing, it was 7-5 in Spalding’s favour after just five minutes.

The scores continued to flow, with Town about to produce one of their most memorable spells of the season.

Sharman broke clear and was able to offload to speedy winger Childs, who went over for another score just wide of the posts. The trusty boot of Hankinson converted.

Paviors reduced the deficit with a penalty awarded for offside, but Hankinson restored the nine-point advantage with a kick of his own.

Spalding were next to score when an interception by the towering McNally saw him shrug off two tackles and race 35 metres to go over under the posts. Again, Hankinson added the extra points.

Amazingly, there was still time for Sharman to touch down his second of the afternoon, following more fine play from Childs. Although the conversion failed this time, Town took a commanding 29-8 lead into the second half.

Already assured of a bonus point, the visitors were determined to make it hard for their illustrious hosts after the interval.

An early try, scored after Town shipped a penalty, looked to have set the tone for the half – but a pivotal score from Craig moments later was the boost the away side needed.

Again the talismanic Sharman was heavily involved, passing inside for his team-mate to make it 34-13 in their favour.

With 15 minutes left a converted score reeled Spalding in a little more, before another five points for Pavs set up a grandstand finish at 34-25.

With time running out the home side added another penalty, but the final whistle sounded after the ball bisected the upright.

Having cured their travel sickness in spectacular fashion, Spalding will now be hopefuls of recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they welcome fellow strugglers Coalville to the Memorial Field this weekend.

Another victory would further ease any lingering relegation fears for Sharman and his side.

Town: Harry Sharman (captain), Peter Shakespeare, Jimmy Rowlands, Fraser Welsh, Josh McNally, Tom Duerden, Richie Craig, Ed Duerden, Jim Williams, Dave Hankinson, Kevin Childs, Ryan Chappell, Ben Williamson, George Brown, Rob Lucas, Craig Dowse, Harry Brown, Ollie Phillips.

Saturday: Spalding v Coalville (2.15pm).