RUGBY UNION: Spalding miss out on derby honours
Derby day ended in defeat for Spalding – despite a one-point advantage at half-time.
They were outplayed in the second period as the honours went again to Kesteven who completed the double.
Making his debut at hooker for Spalding was Aaron Coupe with Luke Turner also in at lock but captain Richard Cooke was able to select all the remaining players from last week’s team who had performed so well at Grimsby.
The opening exchanges were dominated by the forwards testing each other out in the scrum and open play.
Spalding infringed at the tackle area and Kesteven’s fly-half Chris Galloway slotted the penalty kick between the posts.
Scrum-half Ben Shields and fly-half Dan Adams linked well as Spalding gained territory. From a ruck, the ball was passed to Adams who broke through a couple of tackles with his powerful running and was over the try line. With a simple conversion for Ashton Capes, the early lead went to Spalding.
Kesteven responded with their forwards carrying the ball well and their scrum-half controlling the game.
Defending in their half, Spalding started to concede a series of penalties, giving territory and possession away.
Pete Waudby was caught coming in at the side of a ruck and was yellow-carded with the penalty being successfully kicked.
Kesteven continues to press and Ash Piccaver was caught deliberately knocking on as he failed to intercept a pass which is an automatic yellow card.
With a two-man advantage, Kesteven’s number eight cut through a weakened defence to score by the posts, successfully converted for a six-point lead.
Spalding defended well, clearing their lines with good relieving kicks until their numbers were restored with no further score conceeded.
Spalding started to find room with the ball getting out to their backs.
Capes beat a couple of players with his pace and rounded the last attempted tackle to score near the posts. With his successful conversion, Spalding had a one-point lead at the break.
Shortly after the restart, Spalding gave a further penalty away which was successfully kicked.
Kesteven were retaining and using the ball better than Spalding who were starting to struggle to get possession.
Kesteven continued to build momentum and increased their lead when poor positioning by Spalding defending a ruck left a big hole for the number eight to run through unchallenged.
Kesteven were dominating territory and their centre, with a powerful run, broke a tackle and was clear through for their fourth try to secure their win and a bonus point.
During the second half Spalding were unable to get their game going.
They will need to rediscover their intensity displayed in recent weeks, starting with a trip to runaway league leaders Long Eaton on Saturday.
Spalding: Waudby, Coupe, Smith, Turner, Piccaver, W Shields, Cooke, H Brown, B Shields, Adams, Capes, G Brown, McHugh, Peters, Douglas. Subs Cole, Steels, Ingleby.