Midlands Two East (North) - Spalding 21 Dronfield 30
Spalding were in a position on Saturday of fielding a strong squad against Dronfield who had won their opening home match of the season.
Being Presidents Day the second team were also at home and there was a large crowd looking forward to a feast of rugby.
Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes with the late arrival of the visitors due to an accident on the A1.
But they were quickly into their stride and within the opening few minutes Town were caught offside twice but both penalties were missed.
It was then Town’s turn to open the scoring with a typical Ash Piccaver try, using his strength and speed to burst through the defensive cover and fullback Josh Broome converted.
The game started to open up as Dronfield settled into their rhythm with scrums fairly evenly matched but the visitors’ forwards were driving the ball forward in open play.
A poor clearance kick by Broome presented Dronfield with their opening unconverted try and, similar to last week, Spalding seemed to drift out of the game as the visitors ran in a total of three unanswered tries, the third being the result of four missed tackles.
Within a 20-minute spell the match turned considerably in the visitors’ favour.
With encouragement from the crowd and prompting from Harry Sharman playing scrum-half, Spalding started to play the type of rugby they are capable off and a move along the three-quarters saw right wing Taylor Crowson break the defensive line to go through under the posts for a converted try.
A few minutes later Harry Brown was through with the try line in sight but carrying the ball in one hand it was dislodged and the opportunity lost.
Dronfield went into the half-time break with a deserved lead of 22-14.
However it was again Dronfield who edged the restart with their experienced forwards retaining ball and driving forward prompted by their fly-half with his good tactical kicking.
Sustained pressure on Spalding’s try line finally saw the visitors over for an unconverted try.
Town’s response was positive and a good interchange of passes saw Will Shields, who had come off the bench, through for a well-taken try near the posts which Broome converted to bring the score to 27-21 and all to play for in the last 20 minutes.
But a Spalding comeback was not to be and a penalty infringement at the breakdown saw Dronfield’s fly-half kick the penalty to secure victory.
Spalding: Moore, Cooke, Hutson, Templer, Waltham, Piccaver, Harwood, Brown, Sharman, Williams, Douglas, McHugh, Hoyles, Crowson, Broome, Rowlands, Chappell, Shields.
Spalding 2nd suffered an unfortunate loss against a strong Peterborough side despite fighting back hard in the match’s final quarter.
In the first 10 minutes Peterborough lost a man to the sin bin.
This, however, along with Spalding’s efforts to stop the attacking play allowed them to score and covert a try.
Spalding scored a try of their own but Peterborough responded with four tries and two conversions.
An excellent piece of team play in the 80th minute allowed Spalding to close the match with a converted try.
Jason Steeles and Kevin Hudson scored the tries and Jake Sayer got one conversion.