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Spalding Rugby Club are beaten by Bedford Queens in Midlands 3 East (South) match



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A solitary penalty kick sent Spalding to defeat in a low-scoring Midlands 3 East (South) clash at Bedford Queens on Saturday.

Just three points were recorded in the contest where both teams were denied any tries by determined defence in the muddy conditions.

Spalding had travelled with a strong team to face the basement side who were looking for another victory after three recent home wins.

Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.
Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.

The heavy rain had cleared as the players took to the field but, with standing surface water and strong winds, the elements were with the home team due to their big pack of forwards.

The opening 15 minutes saw Spalding under constant pressure from the home side, hardly being able to get out of their own half.

Spalding had to be strong and disciplined in defence, led by captain Pete Waudby.

With Tom Parker, Waudby and Miguel Da Silva in the front row they surprised Queens in the scrums, holding their own and occasionally putting pressure when it was the home team's put in.

With kicking difficult into the wind and Queens with a tall jumper in the line-out, it was Spalding’s back row of Harry Sharman, Ryan Chappell and Will Shields who worked the ball upfield with strong carries or breaks from the scrum.

However, playing good rugby was extremely difficult and Queens had a very simple game-plan with their big experienced forwards hitting up, setting a ruck and then repeating as many times as possible.

Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.
Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.

On the rare occasions that Spalding could release their backs in attack Gav Sharman showed his pace and right wing Ben Shields was bundled into touch, just a metre short of the try line.

The referee was not tolerating any back chat from players and Harry Cole - on for Tom Parker - fell foul to the whistle, giving away a penalty in front of the posts and Queens had a simple kick.

That proved to be the only score in the game as just before half-time a Queens player was yellow-carded for a similar offence.

With the wind advantage, the scene was set for Spalding to take advantage in the second half, but it was the home team, determined to build on their narrow lead, who took the game to their visitors.

This was a battle between the forwards and lock Sam Noble stood out with his determined tackling as the second half became a stalemate between the two teams.

The backs with a rare move nearly opened up Queens' defence with full-back James Luto coming in at speed but, with no Bedford cover defence, he was unable to hold onto the ball.

Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.
Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.

Young colt Will Stevenson came off the bench into the pack to make his first team debut and Fabian Simpson entered the foray.

It was not until the final 10 minutes that Spalding were able to sustain pressure on Queens' try line.

Harry Sharman, Waudby and Ash Anker all were denied by the Queens forwards either killing the ball or with their big forwards standing firm with strong tackles.

Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.
Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.

The try line was tantalising close but not crossed to the frustration of the Spalding players and there was little consolation in the fact that they had a losing bonus point to come away with.

Spalding: Pete Waudby, Miguel Da Silva, Tom Parker, Ash Ankar, Sam Noble, Will Shields, Ryan Chappell, Harry Sharman, Adam Sutcliffe, Conall Mason, Callum Lewis, Harry Waine, Gav Sharman, Ben Shields, James Luto. Subs: Harry Cole, Fabian Simpson, Will Stevenson.

Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.
Spalding went down to a narrow defeat at Bedford Queens.


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