RUGBY UNION: Away win secures third place for Spalding
In the last minute of the season, Gav Sharman squeezed over in the corner for his 25th try to secure a third-place finish.
This was a game of two halves with Spalding in control of the first half and Bakewell - with nothing to lose - storming back.
Straight from the kick-off by Bakewell, Spalding moved the ball quickly out to their backs to captain Dan Adams.
With his strong running, he broke two tackles and cut back inside the next attempt to score under the posts with Conall Mason converting.
Within a couple of minutes, open side flanker Will Shields broke through the first tackle and then weaved his way past three further defenders - scoring under the posts for a further converted try.
Bakewell replied with a converted try and only five minutes had been played.
Spalding capitalised on a penalty kick then Shields repeated his earlier try - running from the halfway line and leaving defenders in his wake.
The end-of-season spirit continued as Bakewell mis-kicked a clearance with Sharman catching and cutting back inside.
From the breakdown, the ball was moved swiftly by scrum-half Ben Shields to fly-half Mason onto Adams who again cut a line straight through Bakewell for another converted try.
A penalty try was awarded to Bakewell but the final play of the first half saw Mason land another penalty kick and at half-time Spalding appeared to have a comfortable 20-point lead.
Within the first two minutes of the restart, right-winger Sam Forrest caught a long clearance punt downfield by the home team and off he went, weaving past struggling defenders to score under the posts for a converted try.
Bakewell came back to score three tries which meant there was a seven-point difference.
Determined defending by Spalding, with Ash Anker and Jason Steels working overtime, saw a penalty awarded against Bakewell on the five-metre line.
The ball was moved on by outside centre Reece Callaby to Sharman who just made the line to shut out Bakewell’s impressive revival.
With a blend of youth and experience in the first-team squad, Spalding’s future is bright under Adams’ captaincy.
More by this authorMark Lea