RUGBY UNION: Spalding’s season ends with another heavy loss

  • Midlands Two East (North) - Coalville 86 Spalding 5
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How the fortunes of these two teams have changed over the past 12 months.

This time last year, Spalding entertained Coalville at home on the last game of the season with both teams having had a fairly poor season.

Sitting just above the relegation zone, Spalding tore Coalville apart with an outstanding second-half display of running rugby – coming out winners by 66 points to seven.

Twelve months on and what a different story as Spalding travelled to Coalville for their last game of the season.

After a fairly indifferent start in the autumn, the home team were on a winning run of 11 consecutive games, lying second in the league, brimming with confidence, knowing that a bonus point win would secure them a play-off place against Oundle for promotion to Midlands One (East).

In contrast, Spalding – with just one win all season – had their confidence and morale naturally affected by results, taking to the field know that 
defeat was almost a certainty and the job for the day was to limit the damage.

In the opening minutes, Coalville showed their intentions and immediately had Spalding on the back foot with both forwards and backs combining, testing the defence.

A scrum was conceded on the five-metre line and with the ball secured and a superior pack, a push try was conceded.

Coalville then embarked on a display of free-flowing running rugby and seven further tries ticked up on the scoreboard for a half-time score of 57 points with no response.

However, the start of the second half was a complete surprise for the spectators.

Relying on the forwards led by Mark Heighton, Sam Cooke - last year’s captain who had just returned from Australia - Ash Piccaver and Harry Brown, with Richard Cooke prompting from scrum-half, the ball was kept in the forwards, retaining possession and driving forward. The result was to deny possession to the home team.

Finally, Spalding were rewarded after the forwards had worked their way deep into Coalville territory with the ball being released along the backs and George Brown cut back on an angle for a well executed try.

The revival, unfortunately, could not be sustained and in the last 15 minutes Coalville resumed their try-scoring to run out comfortable winners.

Spalding will need to regroup during the summer and look forward to next season in Midlands Three.

Spalding: Greaves, Cooke, Caley, Heighton, H Brown, Cole, Piccaver, Anker, R Cooke, W Shields, Sharman, G Brown, Steels, B Shields, Douglas. Subs Hutson, Hudson, Barrett.