Damage done in first half as Spalding lose final

Spalding under-17s
Spalding under-17s
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Spalding under-17s travelled to Hull on Easter Sunday to take part in the inaugural Colts Sevens festival which featured 12 strong teams.

They were in a tough championship group with Driffield, Leigh Lions and Selby.

Spalding, usually slow starters, won the first game against Driffield – although at times making hard work of it.

Good tries were scored by JJ Faulkner and Cory Lewis, both converted by Adam Castle in a 14-7 win.

The second game was against Selby who later won the overall cup competition.

This was a close affair and Selby just edged it 12-7. Mark Hendy scored Spalding’s only try which was converted by Castle.

This was a game Spalding could have won as they were pressing at the end, only to run out of time.

In the third game, Spalding needed to win to progress in the cup but came up against a very strong Lancashire side Leigh.

Spalding lost 28-5 with the only score coming from a determined Elliot Kulleseid who took two players with him over the line to score.

Spalding went through in third place and into the bowl where they faced Doncaster in the semi-finals where they played their best rugby.

First to score was Hendy, then from a scrum on halfway James Thomas broke blind to hand off and score.

Hendy was again on the scoresheet and Faulkner cut a great line for his second of the day.

Castle eased Spalding into the bowl final with a classy score and three conversions to run out 31-10 winners.

In the final Spalding found themselves up against Leigh Lions for the second time of the day.

Leigh started well with a good winger’s try but the contest was blemished with a horrible neck tackle to Castle and later to Scuffham.

The referee allowed play to go on and Leigh scored.

Lewis saw a yellow after what was deemed as reckless play and at half-time Spalding found themselves 19-0 down.

Spalding’s heads never dropped as a breakaway from Tom Birdseye allowed James Thomas in good support to cut inside and beat two men for a well-earned try. Castle converted.

Thomas was again on the scoreboard as Hendy chipped through and the scrum-half just beat the Leigh defender in a race to the line.

The damage was done in the first half and Leigh won the bowl 32-14.

Coach Simon Faulkner said: “They were deserved winners.

“It was good to see both sides who travelled the furthest – one from Lincolnshire, the other from Lancashire – challenged for the final.

“Well done both teams. Overall, the boys acquitted themselves well in a very well-organised sevens tournament.

“Spalding will be looking to improve on this next year, as this tournament will grow in strength.”

Squad: Castle, Whadcock, Faulkner, Thomas, Birdseye, Scuffham, Kulleseid, Emery, Thompson, Hendy, Lewis, Morris.