Market Rasen & Louth 62 Spalding 0
This clash of the two Lincolnshire teams in Midland One East saw the home team in dominant mood.
Market Rasen sit comfortably in mid-table while Spalding are rooted at the bottom with no wins and just two losing bonus points to their name, so it was no surprise that the hosts came out on top.
With Pete Waudby, Sian Williams and Ben Hoyles injured, Jacob Hutson retained his place in the front row, Ryan Chappell started his first match for several weeks at centre and Ed Booth returned on the wing.
Two of Spalding’s Colts players, Will Moore on the left wing and Charlie Seconde at full-back, made their debuts.
The game was just three minutes old when Market Rasen were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for an early lead and it was not long before they were again on the attack.
Moore, trying to intercept a pass, was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on and was shown a yellow card.
From the penalty, Rasen kicked for a lineout on the five-metre line and a successful catch and drive saw Spalding collapsing the maul and the referee awarding a penalty try.
Spalding’s defensive frailties were sorely exposed during the next 25 minutes as five tries and four conversions resulted in a 43-0 scoreline at half-time.
With the wind now in Spalding’s favour, it was their forwards who were starting to get across the gain line supported by the two centres, George Brown and Ryan Chappell, but the ball rarely reached the two wingers.
Sam Cooke took a knock to his shoulder and was replaced by Josh Caly at hooker ten minutes into the second half and Rasen, having weathered the initial pressure, responded with a drive down the middle .
Chappell put in a good tackle to slow the attack down but did not release the tackled player and was shown a yellow card.
The home team immediately capitalised with a converted try.
Coach Andy McMahon decided to blood two further Colts with Kieran Bailey replacing Tim Waltham at flank and Nick Eggleton coming onto the wing with Booth moving to centre as George Brown was replaced.
It was Rasen’s turn for a yellow card, being penalised for not rolling away from the tackle area but this did not seem a handicap them as Spalding conceded a further try.
The final try was scored with ten minutes remaining although the second half was perhaps a moral victory for Spalding as they had turned the tables on the home team and exerted considerable pressure on them, although threatening to score.
Spalding fielded a total of seven Colts players during the match as injuries have mounted in recent weeks.
Colts players like Will Shields, Waltham and Booth have been playing with spirit and determination during this difficult start to the season.
Seconde was taken aback by the speed of play and the instant decision-making required at this level but he came through well, along with Moore.
Spalding: Chappell, Hutson, Cooke, Ioannou, Haighton, Piccaver, Duerden, Waltham, H Brown, Shields, Mackie, Moore, G Brown, Booth, Seconde, Bailey, Eggleton.