Kettering 58 Spalding 0
With Kettering top of Midlands One East and Spalding lying at the other end of the table it was always going to be a very difficult task to come away with anything from this match.
So it proved as Kettering made it six successive wins and Spalding suffered a sixth defeat of the season.
With just a few changes to the starting line-up with Mark Haighton in for Jeremy Darley at lock, Will Shields at scrum half replacing Rob Lucas and Ben Hoyles and Sian Williams forming a solid looking centre pairing with George Brown moving out to the wing, Spalding were looking to build on the improvements of last week.
In excellent conditions Spalding started well, showing determination and good organisation and after only three minutes Dan Mackie saw his penalty kick fly the wrong side of the posts.
A few minutes later Pete Waudby had to leave the field with a leg injury and Jacob Hutson, the second-team vice-captain, came on as replacement for the rest of the match in the front row.
The injury jinx hit Spalding again on the quarter-hour mark when Ben Williams, playing No 8, left the field with damaged ribs. Jay Harwood came off the bench as replacement.
Twenty minutes had passed and Kettering supporters watching, in some disbelief, as Spalding were matching the league leaders.
However on the one occasion in the match that Spalding lost the ball against the head in a scrum Kettering spread the ball out wide to their winger who scored in the corner for an unconverted try.
Realising Spalding defensive weakness out wide some slick passing along their three-quarters released their winger to run in a second try from 20 metres.
Spalding then held their own for the next 15 minutes, especially the forwards who were retaining possession and driving forward.
But just before half-time a Kettering scrum in front of the Spalding posts resulted in the ball being passed to their outside centre who burst through the Spalding defences for a converted try and this was quickly followed by the Kettering winger going in for an unconverted try for a lead of 22-0.
In the second half Kettering’s greater experience and knowledge at this level began to count.
Realising the Spalding pack was giving as good as it got and that their four first-half tries had all come from their backs, a similar strategy was employed in the second half.
Firstly their centre scored when the ball was moved away from their scrum.
This was followed by the ball being moved delightfully along their line for the winger to score.
The next try was a lovely chip ahead over Spalding’s heads for the fullback to run through and the final backs try came from their left winger outstripping the defensive cover.
After all their good forward work the Spalding pack was starting to tire, especially as the two scrum replacements had had to come on within the first few minutes of the match.
Firstly a quick tap penalty resulted in the Kettering pack driving over the line followed minutes later by a pushover try.
Will Shields at scrum half had a good match behind a pack of forwards who had held their own against the league leaders for most of the match.
Damage was done by the Kettering backs with a total of eight tries, who gave a lesson in quick handling, passing and backing up the runner.
Hard work on the training field by Spalding will be needed over the coming few weeks to sort out their defensive organisation and tackling.
Spalding: Ioannou, Waudby, Cooke, Duerden, Haighton, Scotney, Waltham, Williams, Shields, Mackie, Booth, Williams, Brown, Lake, Hoyles, Harwood, Bailey, Hutson.