SPALDING RFC 12 PETERBOROUGH LIONS 40: Spalding may have suffered their seventh Midlands One East loss in as many league games on Saturday, but this was a much more encouraging showing.
With skipper Harry Sharman, winger Kevin Childs and centre Sion Williams all back for the derby date at the Memorial Field, Town made joint-leaders Lions work for their victory.
There was little sign of a change in fortunes during the first half though, as another hefty loss looked to be on the cards for the hosts.
Peterborough were ahead inside just two minutes after winning the ball from a lineout and crashing over for a converted try. The advantage was doubled on ten minutes when Lions’ full back outpaced the home defence to go over under the posts, leaving a simple conversion.
Another ten minutes had elapsed before Lions further added to their score. They were awarded a penalty and a quick tap of the ball resulted in their fly half chipping over the Spalding covering backs and gathering the ball himself and to again score under the posts.
There was still time for another score for the city side before half time. Spalding took a quick throw in in their own half and cleared with a misplaced kick in field.
This was easily gathered and the Lions three quarters sped into open spaces to notch up their fourth converted try within the first 30 minutes, which equalled a 28-0 lead.
A tactical change after the break saw Sharman move to scrum-half, with Harry Brown took up his place in the back row. This worked well for Town, as they piled on the pressure in the opening 15 minutes, albeit without any reward.
They did register a score eventually, though. A break by Ryan Chappell took him to within five metres of the line and his side were awarded a penalty. A quick pass then resulted in Sharman using his pace and skill to score in the corner. Jim Williams lined up the conversion from the touchline and the ball sailed between the uprights.
Lions responded with a converted score of their own, but Spalding continued to attack. Taking play deep into their opponents’ half, the hosts were awarded a penalty – and this time the ball went quickly to Ed Duerden, who used his speed and strength to cross the line near the corner.
Although Lions had the last word with another try in the corner, Spalding showed the fight and determination that had been sadly lacking in previous weeks.
Spalding RFC: Harry Sharman (captain), Pete Waudby, Ollie Lake, Sam Cooke, Mark Haighton, Alex Coates, Tom Duerden, Ed Duerden, Harry Winch, Jim Williams, Dan Adams, Ryan Chappell, Sion Williams, Kevin Childs, Ben Williamson, Peter Shakespeare, Harry Brown & Adam McHugh.
Saturday: Paviors v Spalding.