RUGBY UNION: Spalding well beaten as hosts hit top form

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  • Midlands Intermediate Cup second round - Oadby Wyggestonians 52 Spalding 21
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Spalding conceded 40 points before the break on their way to a heavy defeat.

Immediately from the kick-off, Oadby Wyggestonians clicked smoothly into their rhythm – playing with confidence from their winning start in Midlands Two East (North).

Their forwards were soon into action, showing speed and unity, and the home flanker opened the scoring after 10 minutes.

From the restart Oadby regained possession and territory. This time the scrum-half, who had a wonderful quick pass, released their backs and with an overlap the right-winger rounded Kieran Lake for a second converted try.

With nearly 20 minutes played, having been under constant pressure and hardly been out of their half, Spalding suddenly burst into life led by Ash Anker breaking a couple of tackles and setting up a ruck metres from the try line.

The move appeared to be dying before Sam Cowell took a pass at pace, burst the initial defence tackle and squeezed over the line with Adam McHugh converting.

Galvanised by conceding a try, Oadby proceeded to run Spalding ragged for the last 15 minutes of the first half, playing at a pace that Spalding just could not live with.

Again quick delivery of the ball to the backs allowed the right-winger to score his second try followed by the number 7 helping himself to his second try.

Next the left-winger was left in space after an overlap and as the referee was about to blow for half-time with no guard defence by Spalding at a ruck, Oadby’s scrum-half had a simple run-in.

Coach George Reid needed all his experience to rebuild Spalding’s confidence with his half-time talk, altering the backs defence, with too much room and respect having been given to the opposition in the first period.

Immediately from the restart Spalding started to play ‘old-fashioned’ rugby slowing play down, retaining the ball in the forwards, denying possession to Oadby.

Spalding’s scrum was holding its own and lineout possession was going well with both Mark Heighton and Ash Piccaver jumping well.

Oadby, with their limited share of the ball, opened the scoring again with a well-executed backs move.

But Spalding frustrated the home team with their style of play as the forwards gained valuable yards and Mikey Watts drove over for a try converted by McHugh.

Gav Sharman was next in the action on the right wing as his speed took him around his opposite number and only a last-ditch tackle denied him a scoring opportunity.

George Douglas followed suit from full-back, coming into the line following a good up and under, catching his own kick but again denied by the last man in defence.

With a kick to touch, Spalding again had the opportunity to set up a good platform near Oadby’s try line.

After several determined drives, Tom Duerden smashed through several tackles to score with McHugh converting.

Oadby had the final score with their full-back bursting into space between their centres for an unconverted try.

Having been completely outgunned and outplayed in the first 40 minutes, Spalding won the second half through sheer determination and a fierce competitive spirit to bring some respectability to the final score.

Spalding: Barrett, Cowell, Watts, Piccaver, Heighton, Anker, Cooke, Templer, Shields, Winch, Lake, McHugh, Brown, G Sharman, Douglas. Subs: Deurden, Lucas, Osbourne.