Spalding Rugby Club defeat Sleaford in their Notts, Lincs and Derbys Cup clash at the New Ground
A four-try blitz early in the second half helped Spalding secure a 36-24 victory over Sleaford on Saturday.
The Elephants held a slender two-point advantage at the interval of the Notts, Lincs and Derbys Cup clash at their New Ground.
A strong start to the second period then set Spalding up for victory in the must-win match as Luke Turner's team bounced back from last week's opening group loss against Boston.
They had fallen to a 30-15 defeat against Sleaford a couple of weeks ago in a friendly, but Turner was able to field a full squad of 23 players with strength in depth on the bench.
Spalding took to the field for their first home match since February of last year with a distinct air of determination within the players.
As soon as Spalding kicked off, they pinned Sleaford back in their own half and Pete Waudby and Tom Rollinson were soon rattling the visitors' cages with some powerful drives setting up decent rucks for scrum half Adam Sutcliffe to look for the next runner with his skilful passes.
They took the lead when Harry Sharman carried the ball through a couple of tackles to break clear under the posts and, with Conell Mason slotting over the conversion, Spalding had the advantage after eight minutes.
There was a successful penalty kick by Sleaford to reduce the arrears but again it was Spalding's forwards who were carrying the ball with force.
Ash Anker broke clear to score an unconverted try but, within minutes, Sleaford's scrum half twisted and turned through a couple of tackles next to Spalding’s goal posts and he was over for a converted try.
For the remaining 20 minutes of the first half, Spalding had the upper hand but Sleaford's final defensive tackle did the business.
A cheeky kick over the top by Willis Ingleby saw Gav Sharman’s pace just fail to get to the ball to touch down before going dead as Spalding's chances were being missed with another scoring opportunity going begging.
With the half-time whistle blowing, Spalding were holding a slim two point advantage, prompting captain Turner to use the majority of his replacements on a hot sunny afternoon.
Spalding were soon into their stride in the second half and Alex Worth was the first to strike with Mason converting.
Three minutes later it was another fresh face from off the bench as Miguel Da Silva ran through Sleaford's tackles and, with no back defence, scored by the posts for Mason to convert.
By now Spalding's confidence was sky high and centres Taylor Crowson and Wilson Crowson were making clean breaks at will with their speed and footwork.
Mason was joining in from full-back while fly-half Ingleby orchestrated the back line as the home team were putting together some excellent free-flowing moves.
They increased their advantage as left winger Gav Sharman benefitted as he rounded Sleaford's last man for a further try converted by Mason.
To round off the four-try burst, skipper Turner forced his way through and with Mason yet again converting Spalding had a lead of 26 points.
However, Sharman went off injured and then Harry Exley was yellow-carded with Spalding starting to give some sloppy penalties away at the breakdown.
With 12 minutes to go, Sleaford mounted a comeback and within a flash they had scored two converted tries.
But Spalding closed the game down and ran out worthy winners much to the pleasure of a good crowd along the touchline.
Spalding: Peter Waudby, Tom Rollinson, Sam Noble, Macauley Crane, Luke Turner, Ash Anker, Will Shields, Harry Sharman, Adam Ratcliffe, Willis Ingleby, Callum Lewis, Taylor Crowson, Wilson Crowson, Gavin Sharman, Conell Mason. Subs: Sam Cooke, Harry Exley, Alex Worth, Rob Lucas, James Brand, Ben Shields, Connor Lilburn, Miguel Da Silva.