Spalding upset league leaders to collect second away league win in a row
Spalding produced a stunning finish to defeat league leaders Stockwood Park on their home patch in Luton.
With the clock indicating full time, the home side were awarded a scrum ten metres in from touch.
All the home team had to do was to kick the ball out of play to win the game, with the referee calling "last play".
However, Spalding’s scrum had been getting stronger throughout the game and as the home team's scrum half fed the ball in, a shove forward disrupted the scrum.
At this point, Stockwood were still in control as the ball was back at the feet of their number eight who decided to pick it up and kick it into touch.
But in taking time to execute his kick, the number eight allowed Spalding's Harry Sharman to close in on him and charge down the kick.
Player/coach Sharman then gathered the ball and set up a ruck, with Spalding now in possession 25 metres from the try line.
Encouraged by scrum half Harry Exley, the visitors started to edge towards Stockwood’s try line, with all the forwards taking it in turns to crash forward.
John Barrett and Harry Cole had big hits, along with Pete Waudby and Jacob Greaves, and with the try line now in reach, Stockwood were penalised when Sharman was held up.
Spalding took their penalty inside the last five metres of Stockwood's half and after 15 phases of play, with five minutes of added time played, Ash Anker forced himself over the line to snatch victory.
Conall Mason's conversion was the signal for jubilant celebrations among the Spalding players, showing what this outstanding win meant.
The last gasp drama was in sharp contrast to the way visiting captain Dan Adams and his side started the match,with a penalty conceded in the first few minutes.
After 15 minutes, and with Spalding pressing, a Sharman pass was intercepted by Stockwood's centre who ran the length of the pitch to give his side a ten-point lead.
Undeterred, Spalding pressed forward with the backs, led by fly half Mason and centre Adams, giving no room to Stockwood.
A couple of forward drives by Luke Turner allowed Sharman to squeeze over the try line for a converted try and to bring them within three points of the hosts.
But then Spalding were caught offside as half time approached and a successful penalty kick put Stockwood’s lead up to six points.
Miguel D’Silva, making his first start for Spalding's senior side at lock, impressed with his carries.
But with the try line begging to be crossed,Spalding knocked on and were then held up over the try line as the half time whistle went.
Within a couple of minutes of the restart, Spalding started to turn the tables as centre Willis Ingleby scored a superb individual try.
From the half way line, Ingleby broke down the right, kicked over the advancing defence and touched down.
Spalding full back Gav Sharman had a couple of notable counter-attacks, while Mason also impressed with his distribution and tactical kicking which pinned Stockwood back, deep in their half.
Then Adams stepped forward with a typically strong run, breaking two tackles to go over to give Spalding a four-point lead.
However, Stockwood’s strong running fly half nearly broke Spalding’s efforts as he was allowed to run through five attempted tackles to score.
With the conversion, Spalding had 15 minutes to overturn the league leaders three-point advantage which they did in added time.
After the game, Adams said: "It was a great win and the lads who put their hands up to play away gave 100 per cent for us to walk away with the points."
SPALDING: Waudby, Barrett, Turner, D’Silva, Berry, Anker, Cole, H. Sharman, Exley, Mason, Lewis, Adams, Ingleby, Shields, G. Sharman, Subs: Greaves, Read, Templer.
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