RUGBY UNION: Away defeat for Spalding
Late pressure by Spalding failed to produce a match-winning try as relegation-threatened Sileby claimed the points.
Spalding travelled with a relatively strong squad and an air of expectation.
Making a welcome return in his first start of the season was former captain Sam Cooke at hooker.
There was a good blend of experience and youth with Harry Sharman, Adam McHugh, Ben Shields, Willis Ingleby, Jordan Butcher and Harry Cole featuring.
Within minutes of the kick-off, Dan Adams made a typical break down the middle of the park but soon Sileby started to exert some pressure – also helped by a number of penalties at the breakdown.
Sileby kicked twice down to Spalding’s five-metre line but excellent defence held the home team on the first occasion and on the second, Ingleby made an excellent clearance kick to relieve the pressure.
Right-winger Tom Wilson combined with Shields to make an excellent counter-attack but was tackled into touch with the line in sight.
Another penalty conceded for offside resulted in Sileby opening the scoring with a successful kick after 20 minutes
Spalding bounced straight back, winning the ball at the breakdown on the halfway line and Sharman with an intelligent grubber kick saw Ingleby race through for the opening try and the lead.
Sileby used a kicking game to gain territorial advantage and benefited when, not for the first time, Spalding’s five- man lineout backfired and in defending their line, they conceded a further penalty. A quick tap penalty caught Spalding unprepared and the home team’s first try was on the scoreboard.
Sileby pressed again using their forwards to drive the ball and, although Spalding defended well, the home side went over for their second try.
They took control of the game and shortly before half-time Spalding were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. A successful penalty kick resulted in Sileby having a half-time lead of 16-5.
Sileby started again through their forwards and with a kicking game to gain territory, Spalding found it difficult to get into the game.
However, it was one of Spalding’s rising stars who provided hope as Butcher burst through a couple of tackles in open play to force his way over the line with a 20-metre run. With Ingleby converting, there was only a four-point difference.
Spalding upped their game, starting to play at pace, and the ball being moved more frequently out to the backs.
Wilson was denied with three defenders taking him out only a couple of metres to try line.
Play was encamped in Sileby’s half for the last 15 minutes with Ash Piccaver prominent with his line breaks.
But any opportunities were closed out by determined Sileby defence as they battled for a home victory.
Spalding: Butcher, S Cooke, Greaves, Piccaver, Smith, Cole, R Cooke, Sharman, Shields, Ingleby, Wilson, Adams, Steels, Berry, McHugh. Subs: Barrett, Hudson.