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RUGBY UNION: Spalding put on 'highly enjoyable afternoon of rugby' for club president Sly

By Spalding Reporter

Gav Sharman scores one of his three tries for Spalding.
Gav Sharman scores one of his three tries for Spalding.

Spalding went try crazy on President’s weekend when they touched down 11 times to send Buxton packing at Memorial Field.

In front of nearly 250 spectators, a trio of tries early in the second half put daylight between the Elephants and their Derbyshire opponents to send George Reid’s men third in the table.

Reid was able to select a strong team, with Harry Brown returning at lock, Will Shields in at scrum half and Ben Shields moving to the wing.

The absence of centre George Brown who was recovering from a knock picked up in Town’s Midlands Senior Vase loss to Leicester Forest, meant that Conall Mason kept his place in the team. with Adam McHugh in at full back

Buxton weren’t helped by their late arrival in Spalding, which resulted in a 3.15pm kick off.

However, that allowed the home side to make life uncomfortable for the visitors right from the outset as Town’s forwards immediately went on the rampage.

Pace, strength and excellent support play soon brought a try up for Ash Ankar and, within minutes of the restart, the forwards again dominated as Tim Waltham broke through.

An excellent offload saw Harry Brown continue the move, with Jason Steels and Ash Ankar in support, before a final pass put Waltham over the line.

Then during a rare period of possession, Buxton caught Spalding napping with a converted try.

But from a ruck on Buxton’s 22-metre line, scrum half Will Shields passed to Brown who took the ball at pace, cut back inside and scored under the posts

The next score came from a penalty which saw Spalding kick into touch ten metres out.

Ankar secured the ball and a driving maul was set up, with Harry Sharman controlling at the back, as Town crossed the try line to gain a bonus point.

Within six minutes of the restart, Spalding smashed and grabbed three tries to leave Buxton in disarray, including one from hooker John Barrett.

Outside centre Conall Mason and a hat-trick from winger Gav Sharman put Spalding out of sight, although Buxton did benefit from the Elephants’ brief loss of concentration to cut the deficit at one point.

But Town responded through Sharman after Kieran Bailey, on for Tim Waltham, pressed up field and Buxton turned over the ball.

It was left to Ankar to score his second try of the day before Buxton crossed over for a late, consolation try.

After the game, Spalding captain Dan Adams said: “As a team, we have shown what we can do when we play as a unit and deliver on our gameplan.

“Every player who turned out against Buxton on Saturday was determined to play great rugby, earn their shirt and give our President’s Weekend crowd at Memorial Field a game to remember.

“We are more than capable of competing in this league but going third in the league, behind Nottingham Casuals and Ashfield, doesn’t mean that we can afford to take our foot of the gas.

“We need to train harder in midweek so that the side can play harder and smarter to continue to win against some strong opposition teams.”

Meanwhile, club president Charles Sly said: “It was highly enjoyable afternoon of rugby, with a great win for the 1st XVs, made especially so with so many supporters and friends around.”


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