Relentless Spalding RFC under-11s have retained their NLD title after another sensational showing at the finals in Nottingham on Sunday.
Town’s young guns beat West Bridgford in the final as they defended their status as the best team in Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Derby.
Spalding’s opener in the pool stages was a 6-0 win against Melbourne (Derbyshire). They played an excellent brand of rugby which showcased aggressive rucking, while the backs ran direct and the ball was spread wide, with strike players taking their chances well.
The second game was against eventual finalists West Bridgford. The contest was hard-fought and resulted in a 0-0 stalemate.
Physical Notts outfit Paviors awaited in the pool finale, but size was no match for the tenacious Spalding team who ran out 3-1 winners.
A very strong Lincoln oufit, who had not been defeated and had won their pool, were next up in the semi-finals.
The game was very fiercely contested, with Lincoln scoring first and putting Spalding under massive pressure. However, Town refused to roll over and scored through a well taken try by Will Wand.
Lincoln soon went back ahead, but the second half was the best spectacle of rugby in the tournament as Spalding dug deep. Wand again dotted down to equal the scores, before a dramatic late try.
The ball broke loose for Adam Johnson to pass to Jack Wright, who offloaded to Seamus O’Hagen to punch a hole for Wand to run through and secure his hat-trick – and put them into the final.
Spalding knew they were in for a big game in the final, against a Bridgford side they drawn with in the pool.
Play went from end-to-end, but both defences were resolute. There was no score as the teams went into half time, but eventually Spalding cracked the defence and scored through Wand.
Town had to dig deep as Bridgford attacked in the final few minutes, but when a rolling maul in the last few seconds was held up near the line they had done enough to lift the title again.
Spalding squad: Oliver Keene, Sam Beresford, Will Lakey, Jack Patrick, Henry Williams, Alex Loveridge, Billy Fitzpatrick, Charlie Beecham, Harry Maplethorpe, Adam Johnson, Seamus O’Hagen, Will Wand, Ollie Machin, Jack Wright, Oliver Whiley and Lucas Thompson.