Spalding Rugby Club's colts side are triumphant against West Norfolk
Spalding Colts secured a winning finale to their truncated campaign after victory at West Norfolk in their last match of the season.
Both teams agreed to field a combined 16/17 year age team as they are building towards next season.
The match was played on a superb pitch at West Norfolk and an evenly-matched and competitive contest ensued.
Spalding took an early lead after a spell of forward pressure saw the ball worked out towards the back line where George Watts beat two defenders to score in the corner.
As the match wore on, the forwards on both sides got themselves into an arm wrestle on the halfway line but hard runs by Max Baker, Zak Franklin, Dan Belickis, Riley Carnell, Kai Bucknall and Will Stevenson were starting to make progress.
A kick through enabled Freddie Fitzpatrick to cut through the back line and, despite a determined chase by West Norfolk, he was able to apply positive downward pressure on the ball and the try was given.
The conversion was completed by Matthew Lines to give Spalding a 12-0 lead, but unfortunately they had by this time lost Max Baker and Riley Carnell who succumbed to early injuries and their shift was over.
Another passage of play continued with both sets of forwards at a stalemate, but West Norfolk were starting to make progress to the Spalding line and, despite fierce defending by Will Stevenson, Tom Payne, Theo Briston, Noah Cooke, Tom Wand, Seth Cardew and many others, a try was scored by the hosts.
Spalding came back strongly and George Watts scored his second try of the match and, although the conversion was missed, the visitors still led 17-5.
West Norfolk rallied again though and applied a lot of pressure with Spalding conceding a number of penalties as they were pushed back onto their try line.
The hosts broke through and scored with a try next to the posts but, as the match went on, the fitness of the Spalding team was starting to take control of the game.
A further try was scored by Freddie Fitzpatrick to make the score 22-10 before West Norfolk replied with their final score of the match.
The next try by Spalding was the best of the match though as it was scored after a combination of four swift passes down the line by the backs with the ball finally ending in the capable hands of Theo Briston who skilfully ballerina-stepped two West Norfolk defenders at very high speed to run in the try.
The final try of the match was scored by Tom Payne and the conversion completed by Matthew Lines to seal the 34-15 success.
The final scoreline did not reflect the game as West Norfolk played some great rugby and, if not for the tenacious defence on the Spalding try line, they may have closed the gap or even drawn level.
The game was played with good discipline from both sides with Spalding’s man of the match going to Briston for his tenacious defence and notable try.