Midlands One East: Spalding 7 Market Rasen & Louth 45
Josh Broome ran the full length of the pitch to level the scores – but Spalding went on to suffer another defeat.
The start of the match was delayed for five minutes as a fierce hailstorm blew over the ground with the fixture being switched to Tyrrells due to waterlogged pitches at the Memorial Field.
In the forwards there was a start for Josh Caley in the front row and Liam Richardson returning at openside flanker.
At half backs there was a new young partnership with Joe Grundy, having recently returned and playing well in the second team last week, starting at fly-half with Will Shields at scrum-half.
After Richard Cooke’s promotion last week to the first-team squad, he made the starting line-up on the right wing and with his man-of-the-match performance against Bletchley 2nd last week George Douglas came into the squad.
The start of the match saw Market Rasen & Louth hit the ground running and before Spalding had settled the visitors’ No.8 executed a well-taken pick and drive to open the scoring for a converted try.
As the conversion was being taken Spalding captain Ryan Chappell gathered in his players for a quick pep talk.
As a result Spalding’s defence looked sharper with the forwards getting their tackles, in particular Richardson and the three-quarters were cutting down space for the runners to operate in.
Grundy, who had gone over on his ankle during the warm-up, was forced off with a reshuffle taking Chappell to fly-half, Sion Williams inside centre, Harry Lane outside centre and Douglas left wing.
The visitors dominated territory and were on Spalding’s 22 and as they passed the ball along the line Broome in the defence anticipated the visitors’ next pass and intercepted the ball, running the full length of the pitch to score under the post, which he successfully converted to bring the score level.
Rasen hit back 10 minutes later, firstly with quick hands by the three-quarters creating space for their fullback to slice through for a converted try.
This was followed by Rasen’s fly-half chipping through for the outside centre to run past the Spalding defence and before they could turn he was over for a further converted try for a half-time lead of 21-7.
Again Rasen started the second half brighter and with their forwards becoming more dominant, especially in the scrums, space was starting to open up out wide and the outside centre with no defensive cover to beat scored an unconverted try.
For the next 20 minutes Spalding battled hard, making use of their forwards who were gaining territory through Tom Duerden, Ash Piccaver, Mark Haighton and Harry Brown but the visitors held firm.
The stalemate was broken by Rasen’s scrum-half supporting a break down the left wing. As a result of all the defensive tackling Spalding started to tire, making some elementary errors around the breakdown area and Brown was shown a yellow card.
With only eight minutes remaining and a one-man advantage the visitors’ three-quarters ran in two further tries.
Spalding’s general defensive tackling during the match was good but Rasen’s stronger pack created openings for their backs to take advantage especially their outside centre with three tries.
For a display of non-stop running and tackling Richardson was Spalding’s man of the match.
Spalding: Waudby, Read, Caley, Haighton, Piccaver, Duerden, Richardson, Brown, Shields, Grundy, Lane, Chappell, Williams, R Cooke, Broome, S Cooke, Scotney, Douglas.