Spalding RFC 10 Syston RFC 62: BEFORE this clash Town skipper Harry Sharman felt his side had every chance of shocking the Midlands One East leaders at the Memorial Field – but he couldn’t have been more wrong.
Having already battered Spalding 33-0 in the reverse fixture, Syston again proved their class with this dominant Saturday display.
This was a match keenly anticipated by the home players and spectators, with the visitors aiming to secure the title and ultimately promotion to the national leagues at the end of the season, writes PETER JULLIEN.
Unfortunately, Spalding were not as focused as they should have been at the start of the match and some poor handling by their three-quarters let in Syston’s centre for an easy unconverted try from five metres.
Immediately Town exerted some pressure and a penalty was conceded by the opposition for not releasing a player in the tackle.
But the kickable penalty was missed – and to rub further salt in it was followed by Syston working a try in the corner by their right wing.
Ollie Phillips had a good run down the wing, but it was not long before Spalding were under pressure again and Syston ran through their weak defence to go under the post for a 17 point lead after 20 minutes.
Spalding now had a good spell and they were camped on the visitors’ five metre line, but as a scoring pass was going to Adam McHugh it was intercepted by Syston – who ran the length of the field for a further seven points.
That was immediately followed by another converted try, as the away side began to run riot.
Again Spalding came back at Syston with a good attack down the blind side channel, but poor handling resulted in a missed opportunity.
Soon after there was more frustration, as afer a penalty was awarded to Spalding, they were penalised for a knock on.
Eventually they made their pressure count, as Dave Hankinson, playing fly half, slipped a tackle to score an unconverted try to make it 31-5 at the break.
The second half was a demonstration by a confident Syston of how to run and pass the ball with excellent support play.
Their young fly half gave a masterclass in releasing his three-quarters into space, kicking to his wingers or creating holes in the Spalding defence with a wonderful side step and they were able to run in a further five tries.
However the Spalding players never let their heads drop and were rewarded with the final try of the match, scored by Phillips.
Spalding hope that Syston are not in their division next season.
• Saturday – Town v Leighton Buzzard (3pm).