Spalding unlucky to miss out on first win

Action from Spalding's home defeat on Saturday. Photo: Tim Wilson
Action from Spalding's home defeat on Saturday. Photo: Tim Wilson
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Spalding 20 Paviors 31

Spalding produced a much-improved display on Saturday but still await their first victory of the season.

With Nottingham outfit Paviors lying fourth from bottom of Midlands One East, this was an opportunity to see a revival from Spalding.

As in previous weeks there was a shuffle in the squad with Ben Williams returning to the back row after a month-long injury lay-off, Tom Duerden recovering from illness to take his place in the side, Liam Richardson making his first-team debut at No 7, and Brian Browne slotting in on the right wing.

After an even start, Spalding opened the scoring when fly-half Dan Mackie slotted over a successful penalty after ten minutes.

Paviors responded positively and five minutes later, with the play deep in Spalding territory, their forwards set up a maul which was successfully driven over the try line from ten metres.

This was followed by a Pavoirs lineout again deep into Spalding’s half and a well-executed catch and drive saw the forwards go over for a converted try to go 12-3 up.

The next quarter was dominated by Spalding’s forwards. Richardson was always winning the ball at the breakdown while Williams’ influence was a telling feature with Spalding retaining possession and breaking around the fringes.

Harry Brown and Duerden were also prominent with some powerful running.

However, it was starting to look as though the possession was not going to turn into points as Duerden broke for the line but a team-mate was caught blocking and a pick and drive for the line was pulled back for a knock-on.

Brown broke clean through the Paviors defence and was denied a try by a last-ditch tackle on the line but he finally went over from a pick and drive for Spalding’s opening try.

Spalding started the second half where they left off and within a minute a lineout on the Paviors five-metre line saw Williams at the back of a driving maul successfully touch down for an unconverted try.

Ash Piccaver replaced Tim Waltham at lock and play was now generally from end to end with Paviors just having the upper hand and edging further ahead following a penetrating three-quarters move.

Shortly afterwards a scuffle of the ball saw Paviors lose a player to a yellow card and Brown was shown a red card.

The best try of the match was to follow as a break down the right wing was instigated by Rob Lucas, who was having a good game at scrum-half.

Mackie broke through out wide to run clear from 30 metres and he successfully converted the kick to leave Spalding four points adrift.

With five minutes remaining man-of-the-match Richardson broke through the Paviors defence and, after a 50-metre dash, was hauled down just a few metres out.

The ball was moved out and with a three-on-one advantage a try was on offer but the referee judged the final pass forward.

Paviors had the final call in the last couple of minutes with a blindside move from a scrum on Spalding’s five-metre line.

This was a much-improved performance by Spalding who had several golden opportunities to increase their try tally.

Spalding: Waudby, Cook, Caley, Duerden, Waltham, B Williams, Richardson, H Brown, Lucas, Mackie, Lake, G Brown, Chappell, Browne, Seconde, Shields, Osborne, Piccaver.