Town find new purpose after magnificent derby win

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Spalding 1st XV skipper Sam Cooke claims his side can turn Memorial Field into a “fortress” after an earth-shattering 25-15 win over league leaders Stamford.

A trip to third place Ashbourne on Saturday no longer holds any fears for Town under interim coach Bruno Figueiredo who has taken over from Ben Williams.

Cooke claimed their win had sent “shock waves” through the league as former skippers Harry Sharman and Ryan Chappell helped their successor in leading from the front.

“We kept on saying that we’ll get there and Saturday was the culmination of that,” Cooke said. “It helped massively that it was a derby game and that we didn’t do ourselves justice when we went to Stamford in the (NLD) Cup in September.

“Everyone put themselves on the line and, to date, Stamford was the most physical game I’ve played in this season.”

Spalding had all the motivation they needed with the sight of injured team-mate Gavin Harrison on the sidelines and Cooke added: “It was quite touching to see him there after putting himself through agony to get down to the match.

“It’s good to have the town behind us and now we want to offer something back.”

“The win against Stamford was about heart and passion, all the lads wanted it and the rugby team of this area, we laid a marker down to say that even though we were bottom of the legaue, we have what it takes to be in there.

“We’ll be going to Ashbourne (on Saturday) happy and confident that the Stamford win will have sent shockwaves through the league and teams coming to Spalding will know that we’re back and that Memorial Field is a fortress again.”

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