‘Win it for Gavin’, says Spalding leader

Will Shields (centre) whose sending off at West Bridgford has led Spalding skipper Sam Cooke to call for better discipline from his side ahead of the home game against Midlands Two (East) North leaders Stamford at Memorial Field on Saturday.  Photo by Claudia Afonso.
Will Shields (centre) whose sending off at West Bridgford has led Spalding skipper Sam Cooke to call for better discipline from his side ahead of the home game against Midlands Two (East) North leaders Stamford at Memorial Field on Saturday. Photo by Claudia Afonso.
  • Town host league leaders still reeling from serious injury blow
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Thoughts of injured team-mate Gavin Harrison will be a motivating force for Spalding as they look for a miracle against league leaders Stamford on Saturday.

Something has to give when the south Lincolnshire rivals meet in what should be a full-blooded Midlands Two East (North) derby clash at Memorial Field, with Town looking for only their second league win over the season and the visitors hoping to avoid what would be their second league defeat.

We owe it to Gavin Harrison to get a win on Saturday, knowing that Stamford have always been a rival of ours

Spalding RFC 1st XV skipper Sam Cooke

Ben Williams’ Spalding side have had a two-week break since their ill-fated 33-12 loss at West Bridgford where Harrison, making his 1st XV debut for Town at outside centre, suffered a broken ankle within minutes of coming on the field.

Town skipper Sam Cooke said: “It was just a really freak accident and, as a club, we’ve all been rallying round to get him back on his feet and support him.

“We owe it to Gavin to get a win on Saturday and we had a very good training session on Tuesday, knowing that Stamford have always been a rival of ours.”

The two sides met earlier this season in the NLD (Notts, Lincs and Derbys Cup) when Stamford emerged 27-12 winners when front row man Kier Moore made his first start for Spalding in five years.

Cooke said: “I don’t think they outplayed us when we met them in the cup (on September 5) and we had a few players out through injury and non-availability.

“Our penalty count hasn’t been great so far this season and our discipline hasn’t been the best, so hopefully we’ll be able to improve on that.”

Meanwhile, Bourne hope to build on their Midlands Junior Vase second round win over Worksop when they visit Bedford to take on Queens in Midlands Four East (South).

Coach John Forbes said: “We’re getting back to having a full side out but we’re still missing a couple of props.”