RUGBY: Town edged out in city thriller

Harry Harrison goes over for Spalding at Peterborough. (Photo: Adrian Smith)
Harry Harrison goes over for Spalding at Peterborough. (Photo: Adrian Smith)
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PETERBOROUGH 31 SPALDING 27: There was drama throughout as Spalding were denied by their old rivals and fellow league strugglers in the final move of a thrilling match.

It was a game both sides were desperate to win and totally enthralling.

Peterborough led 10-0 after just 14 minutes as Spalding were punished for conceding penalties.

But Spalding got themselves back into it. They kicked for touch in the corner and a five metre line out followed. Spalding won the ball and drove for the line with Alex Coates achieving what he tried to do the previous week and crossed the line. The conversion missed but better was to come with two quick Spalding tries.

The first came after they kicked for touch. They won the lineout and drove for the line with skipper Harry Sharman cutting through to score.

Dave Hankinson this time placed the conversion through the uprights to give his side a 12-10 lead after 24 minutes.

Then Sharman broke through the centre but was stopped ten metres short of the line.

Peterborough regrouped but immediately knocked on. Spalding won the scrum and broke from the rear, the ball went to winger Harry Winch and he evaded two tackles to cross the line.

The conversion failed and Spalding led 17-10.

A Peterborough penalty hit the uprights and bounced back into play early in the second half.

The visitors broke out of defence with centre Harry Harrison making good progress. He was only stopped in the Peterborough 22 metre area and from the resultant ruck the home side were penalised and Hankinson kicked his side to a ten-point lead.

Peterborough hit back with a converted try to trail 20-17 but the margin was soon restored.

Spalding won the ball at a scrum and quickly passed the ball down the line to Harrison, who cut inside his marker and used his pace to score. Hankinson converted.

But Spalding’s lead was due to be cut back. Dan Adams had made progress on the wing but the support was not enough. Peterborough regained possession, cleared upfield and the resultant chase led to their third try.

With ten minutes left, Spalding were still confident that they could deny their opponents the opportunity to win the match. But they were penalised for being offside and Peterborough chose to take a scrum from which, after a number of resets, they grabbed the crucial try.

l Spalding: Sharman (captain), Waudby, Rowlands, Shakespeare, T Duerden, Coates, E Duerden, Brown, Lucas, Hankinson, Adams, Chappell, Harrison, Winch, Williamson, Lake, Scotney, McHugh

l Saturday: Spalding v Market Bosworth