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Spalding Rugby Club are 39-12 winners against Dronfield in the first leg of the NLD Summer Trophy final




Spalding will take a 27-point advantage into this weekend's second leg of the NLD Summer Trophy final after triumphing in an entertaining clash with Dronfield on Saturday.

The Elephants were on top for good stretches of the match, but Dronfield hung in well and deserved their two tries late on in the second half.

The visitors had travelled from the very north of Derbyshire with Spalding making the return trip this Saturday to settle the final which will be decided on the aggregate scores from the two legs.

Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628144)
Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628144)

It was essential that Spalding got off to a bright start on Saturday and from the outset Dronfield were put under pressure and, with a penalty conceded, Conall Mason slotted over the kick.

Within minutes Spalding were carrying the ball well with captain Luke Turner proving difficult to stop along with Sam Noble.

With Dronfield desperately defending, fly half Willis Ingleby fed an excellent kick through turning the defence and centre Taylor Crowson's pace allowed him to touch down for the home side's first try.

Spalding maintained their dominance with Tom Birdseye's line-out work giving good ball to scrum half Adam Sutcliffe while fly half Ingleby was starting to pull the strings in midfield.

It was Harry Sharman in open play who then broke through several tackles for the next try of the afternoon which was converted by Mason.

The tactic of the forwards carrying up the ball was proving a winner with Ash Anker and Pete Waudby continuing to set up good ruck ball.

Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628181)
Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628181)

Dronfield could not cope with Sharman as he broke through a couple of tackles and was over for his second try of the afternoon.

With half-time approaching, a flowing move in the backs saw Wilson Crowson just miss out but, with 20-0 advantage, Spalding were well on their way.

Turner started to use his bench but it was the backs who really cemented a good winning score.

Again it was Ingleby who started a move with both centres Wilson and Taylor Crowson using their pace and the final pass to right wing Callum Lewis was well taken and he scored in the corner.

Ingleby was next to score with a brilliant try as, receiving the ball just inside his own half, he weaved his way past a couple of tackles and completely outpaced any cover defence to score under the posts.

With an easy conversion for Mason, Spalding had increased their lead to 32 points.

Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628126)
Action from Spalding's cup final first leg with Dronfield on Saturday. Photo: Chris Lowndes (48628126)

However, to Dronfield's credit, they never gave up and they applied pressure on Spalding by creating an overlap on their left to open their scoring.

Having taken a break with his turn on the bench, Sharman made an immediate impact on his return and again it was his strength when tackled to burst clear with his third try of the afternoon that was converted by Mason.

It was Dronfield though who had the final score of the afternoon with their left winger being put into space to score near the posts for a try that was duly converted.

Spalding: Pete Waudby Sam Cooke, Sam Noble, Ash Anker, Luke Turner, Tom Birdseye, Will Shields, Harry Sharman, Willis Ingleby, Callum Lewis, Wilson Crowson, Taylor Crowson, James Brand, Conell Mason, Harry Exley, Rob Lucas, Joe Grundy, Connor Lilburn, Miguel Da Silva.



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