RUGBY UNION: Another blank for Spalding

Spalding lost at home to Matlock in October
Spalding lost at home to Matlock in October
  • Midlands Two East (North) - Matlock 74 Spalding 0
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Rock-bottom Spalding crashed to their ninth successive league defeat on Saturday.

Following the 46-0 home loss to leaders Melbourne last week, they again failed to even get on the scoresheet.

Kev Hudson and Kieran Bailey were brought in the pack – stepping up from the second team, replacing Jason Steels and Tom Duerden.

Will Shields was at fly-half to accommodate Richard Cooke playing scrum-half and Brian Browne featured on the wing for the first time this 

Matlock are always very formidable at their scenic ground set in the Derbyshire Dales but on Saturday they were chasing a bonus point win to take them to second in the league.

Immediately from the kick-off, the home team pressed Spalding back and tested their defensive lines but strong tackling stopped the initial thrusts.

However a penalty was conceded and Matlock kicked for a lineout five metres from the try line. With the lineout ball secured, a planned blind side move was well executed and the first try was on the scoreboard.

Spalding replied by taking the game deep into Matlock’s half with the referee awarding a penalty kicked to touch for a lineout. Matlock stole the 
ball and rapidly moved along their backs to set up a counter-attack.

The contrast in execution between Matlock with their successful lineout followed by a planned move leading to a score and Spalding failing to secure their own ball in a similar position illustrated the difference between the two teams.

Spalding were further disrupted when experienced centre Ben Williamson was injured while tackling with Mark Elsey moving from the wing and Brian Browne coming off the bench.

For the next 20 minutes the well-drilled Matlock team played at pace, moving the ball along the backs and finding space.

Aided by some missed tackles, their left-winger had a field day by running in a hat-trick of tries.

Spalding had few chances to threaten Matlock in the first half but when the opportunity arose again through the award of a penalty, poor decision 
making meant that instead of going for a scrum where they had an upper hand, they elected instead to kick for a lineout which was lost.

By half-time, with the score being 38-0, it was a matter of how many Spalding would concede.

However with players such as half-backs Cooke and Shields who never give up, and experienced front row player John Barrett giving sterling service, well supported by Jacob Hutson, Luke Turner and Kieran Bailey, the team continued to give 100 per cent effort.

As soon as Matlock moved the ball wide to their backs and with more and more space opening up, five more tries were run in with no reply.

Spalding: Watts, Hutson, Barrett, Turner, Hudson, Bailey, Piccaver, H Brown, Cooke, Shields, Elsey, Williamson, G Brown, Sharman, Douglas. Subs: Browne, Cole, Figueiredo.

Bourne booked their place in the NLD Cup final with a 13-5 win over Stamford College Old Boys.

Sam Evison kicked two penalties and the conversion for Donald Sweeting’s try.

Meanwhile, Deepings are in the Hunts and Peterborough Cup final by beating Thorney 46-15.