SPALDING RFC 22 MELTON MOWBRAY RFC 0: Title-chasing Spalding RFC returned to Midlands Two East (North) action with a comfortable shut-out success at the Memorial Field on Saturday.
Having gone four weeks without a fixture due to the inclement weather, Town collected the bonus-point triumph that was expected of them against rock-bottom Melton Mowbray.
All 22 points came in the first period on a very windy day in South Holland, with James West, Rob Lucas and Harry Harrison (2) all going over for tries.
Town were full of confidence ahead of the clash, with former favourite Wes Cope named in the starting line-up after sealing a return from National One side Old Albanians.
The hosts didn’t waste much time in opening their account, with Tim Waltham making ground before being stopped some 15 metres from the line. The ball found its way back to West, who used his speed to go over the line.
With the wind wreaking havoc, West’s conversion attempt was off target.
Spalding were soon back on the attack and, from a scrum inside the Melton half, Ben Williams broke from the back before passing the ball to scrum half Lucas, who cut back inside to touch down close to the posts – leaving a simple conversion for West.
Rampant Town were then awarded a penalty which took them to within ten metres of their opponents’ try line. A scrum followed,which was cleanly won and the ball went down the three-quarters to speedy winger Harrison, who outpaced the visitors cover to score in the corner.
A valiant conversion attempt from West just missed, but the home side still moved 17-0 ahead after 15 minutes.
Not done there, Cope took a quick penalty and broke through the centre before being stopped.
Skipper Harry Sharman collected the ball and a quick off load to Cope sent the ball clear on the left for Harrison to cross for his second try. West’s kick was again beaten by the wind, but at 22-0 it was already game over.
Town almost added to their tally in the second period when Ed Duerden broke well, but his pass for a free Matty Newman caught the wind and was adjudged as forward.
The victory keeps Spalding 11 points behind leaders Belgrave, with two games in hand.
Town: Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Wes Cope, Alex Ioannou, Tom Duerden, Tim Waltham, Richie Craig, Ben Williams, Rob Lucas, James West, Andy Lal, George Brown, Ryan Chappell, Harry Harrison, Adam McHugh, Sam Cooke, Ed Duerden and Matty Newman.
• Sat: Town v Loughboro’ (2.15pm).