Spalding show no mercy to weakened Queens with 13-try romp at Memorial Field
Spalding took full advantage of a weakened Queens side by scoring 13 unanswered tries at Memorial Field on Saturday.
The Elephants were looking to avenge a surprise 24-5 defeat at their Bedfordshire-based opponents at the end of October.
But in what was comfortably their biggest win of the season so far, Spalding made their most of being able to put out a strong team, despite making changes on the substitutes' bench where Pete Waudby, Ed Williams and Matt Heaton were all on stand-by.
Straight from the kick-off, the hosts caught Queens completely off-guard as the forwards carried the ball to such good effect that Ash Anker managed to break through the last line of defence and run in under the posts.
Ed Booth kicked the conversion, putting Spalding 7-0 ahead within the first minute.
Queens struggled against a Spalding team who looked fitter, stronger and motivated after last week’s poor start at league leaders Oakham.
Scrum half Will Shields launched the next scoring move with a quick pass out to fly half Willis Ingleby before the ball moved through the backs' hands to find left wing Gav Sharman in a bit of space for a clear run to get his first try of the game.
Then Spalding lock Ash Piccaver broke through a couple of attempted tackles and strode through to score his side's third try in just 11 minutes.
Queens were dealt a blow as one of their props left the game due to injury and, with no substitutes to call on,they went down to 14 men for the rest of the match, with any scrums going uncontested.
However, Queens battled hard to keeping their hosts at bay and frustrate Spalding for the next 15 minutes.
This was until Piccaver, playing in only his second game since injury back in August, again showed strength and pace as he sliced through Queens' static defence around the breakdown and go under the posts.
Another successful conversion by Booth meant the Elephants had secured a bonus point after scoring four tries, with just under a third of the first half still to play.
Spalding's fifth try came through Booth who showed blistering pace to breach Queens’ faltering defence and minutes later, Anker charged through before side-stepping the last man for his second and Town's sixth try of the game.
Having switched positions to full back, Ben Shields joined in the scoring with a converted try and, just before half-time, Booth outpaced Queens’ entire defencewith a 40-metre run down the right wing to go under posts, converting his second try of the day in the process.
Spalding were 48-0 up at the break and so changes were made as Waudby replaced Luke Turner, while Heaton came on for Da Silva.
But the home side's momentum was unchecked, pressing Queens’ backs deep into their half.
Home captain Dan Adams made it nine tries to nil with a powerful burst across the line and less than two minutes later, Ingleby went flying through the gaps to run in an excellent try from near the half-way line.
This was the cue for Williams to come off Spalding's bench, replacing John Barrett, at the same time as Queens proved and unable to stop the strong carries by the hosts' forward line.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Anker forced his way through three attempted tackles to score his third try of the day.
Gav Sharman then showed his pace on the left wing to grab Spalding's 12th try before Ryan Chappell capped off an excellent match with a deserved score
With Queens effectively down to 12 players, as two of their side were hardly able to run, the referee took pity on them and mercifully blew the full-time whistle whenthere was still ten minutes left to play.
What a way for Booth to end his Spalding career before moving to Canada, with the memory of two outstanding tries and five conversions.
SPALDING: Greaves, Barrett, Turner, Piccaver, Da Silva, Anker, Chappell, H. Sharman, W. Shields, G. Sharman, Adams, Patrick, B. Shields, Booth.Subs: Heaton, Waudby, Williams.