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Action-packed contest as Spalding Rugby Club are narrowly beaten by Stewart & Lloyds



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Spalding came close to producing a remarkable comeback in an unbelievable Midlands 3 East (South) contest on Saturday.

There appeared to be no way back for the Elephants when they trailed 5-46 early in the second half after being totally outplayed in the opening period.

However, they set off on a rousing recovery and had reduced the deficit to just eight points by the final whistle with time running out for Spalding who could have snatched something from the game had it lasted a few more minutes.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514537)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514537)

They were hit by an outstanding display of running rugby from the visiting backs in the first half as Stewart & Lloyds tore Spalding apart.

It started within the first minute when the visitors' scrum half kicked an outstanding drop kick, rarely seen these days, from near the touchline.

For the first 20 minutes of the game, Spalding never got out of their half with the visitors dominating.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514539)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514539)

Their line-outs were slick and, although their scrum was under pressure from Spalding, they always seemed to move the ball away to fly half Kieran Manson who, with a good passing technique, constantly played his centres Devon Reilly and Jake Biddle into space as they came onto the ball at pace.

Four converted tries had been run in for a lead of 29 points after 25 minutes and a try-scoring bonus point for the visitors.

Spalding were looking for some salvation through their forwards with their strong carries but the visitors were faster to the breakdown ball and were determined not to let the hosts score.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514541)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514541)

With the half-time whistle due, Stewart & Lloyds' prop broke free from a ruck and, with an undefended blindside, a further converted try was scored.

Thirty-six points adrift after 40 minutes of play and Spalding were staring at an humiliating defeat.

Immediately from the restart, Jason Steels and Ash Piccaver punched holes into the opposition's defence which was carried on by Ash Anker who scored out wide.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514543)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514543)

Corby were still full of confidence though and again it was their centres who were causing problems with their pace and handling and, with a penalty and a converted try, now led 5-46 and the situation looked hopeless for Spalding.

However, the home forwards were starting to punch holes in S&L's defence with Peter Waudby and Kev Hudson to the fore.

With tables turned, the visitors were now starting to concede penalties at the breakdown and. from a quick tap penalty, Harry Cole forced his way over and from out wide Conall Mason made an excellent conversion.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514545)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514545)

Spalding were now on the front foot and with 20 minutes left captain George Brown led by example.

Again encamped in the visitors' half, he received the ball lined up alongside his centres.

Sprinting forward the whole of the visitors defence looked on, mesmerised, as he sliced through unopposed to score near the posts for an outstanding converted try.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514547)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514547)

Spalding went hunting with their now dominate forwards to the fore and within a couple of minutes this pressure told as Alan Charevicious was driven over for his first try for Spalding that was converted by Mason.

With five minutes remaining, Anker went over for his second try and Spalding were now racking up the points as they looked to achieve the unthinkable and come from 41 points down early in the second half.

Cole went over for his second try in the corner with the S&L defence in disarray and, with another fine conversion by Mason, there was just eight points difference.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514549)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514549)

Unfortunately, although sprinting back for the restart, Spalding finally came up just one score away from a losing bonus point.

The visitors - with their scintillating handling skills, support play and pace in their back - were outstanding, but Spalding were courageous in the second half mainly through their forwards coming back from being dead and buried and nearly snatching the game.

It only needed a few more minutes of play for Spalding to have staged the most improbable comeback.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514551)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514551)

Spalding: Peter Waudby, Miguel Da Silva, Tom Parker, Alan Charevicius, Ash Anker, George Brown, Jason Steels, Harry Cole, Ben Shields, Adam Sutcliffe, Callum Lewis, Harry Waine, Gav Sharman, James Luto, Conall Mason. Subs: Kev Hudson, Ash Piccaver.

Spalding are in derby action this weekend as they travel to face high-flying Bourne who were 3-22 away winners at Rushden & Higham on Saturday.

Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514553)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514553)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514555)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514555)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514557)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514557)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514559)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514559)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514561)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514561)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514563)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514563)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514565)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514565)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514567)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514567)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514569)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514569)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514571)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514571)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514573)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514573)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514575)
Spalding went down to a 38-46 defeat against S&L Corby on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (53514575)


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