SPORT TALK: Expect better from our trio next season

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OUR three main winter teams finished their respective seasons over the Easter period – and the trio will be hoping for an improvement next time around. Here’s my end of season report for Spalding United, Holbeach United and Spalding RFC...

IT was perhaps fitting that the Tulips finished at a time best remembered for resurrection, as the bid to rebuild their shattered reputation begins now.

For Spalding, a wretched relegation campaign that yielded 32 league defeats was one to forget. Seven difficult seasons at step four of the non-league ladder have seen the club become perennial whipping boys, making their drop to the UCL Premier Division something of a relief for long-suffering fans.

You’d be hard pressed to find a team in any competitive league that were as far out of their depth as Spalding were in Evo-Stik First Division South.

But with much-respected UCL veterans Andy Stanhope and Bob Don-Duncan at the helm and a blank canvas to work with, more prosperous times look to be ahead at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

I expect a summer of wheeling and dealing to yield a side capable of an assault on the top six next season.

•APOLOGIES for the awful cliché, but Holbeach’s campaign really was a tale of two halves.

With a mass player exodus to deal with last summer, John Chand’s first season as Tigers boss was always going to be a tough one.

After managing just five wins from 26 games in all competitions before Christmas, Holbeach must have feared the drop to the abyss of UCL Division One.

But the master motivator Chand always insisted his side would come good – and they eased to a solid mid-table finish after a fine climax to the season. If Chand – as I expect – can pull off a few transfer coups over the summer, Holbeach could ruffle a few feathers in the top eight next time around.

•SWITCHING to the oval ball, Spalding RFC made a significant step forward with a solid effort in new league surroundings – and won a cup to boot.

After finally winning promotion, it was all about staying in Midlands One East for Town – and they achieved that with ease.

Winning the Lincs Cup was a nice bonus for Harry Sharman’s side, who will be a little more street-wise next season.

As the town’s best-supported club, I reckon they can push on and progress even further.