Midlands One East: Spalding 26 Newark 53
Spalding welcomed back Ed Duerden for his first start of the season at open side flank, with Josh Broome returning on the wing and Ben Williamson named on the bench.
In front of a good crowd and in excellent conditions the match kicked off with no team gaining any early advantage.
Newark were pressing an advantage and spread the ball along their three-quarters on six minutes but Broome showed great anticipation to intercept the final pass and ran the length of the pitch for the opening try under the posts, with Dan Mackie having a simple conversion
Spalding were really settling into the match and Newark started to concede penalties, but Mackie pulled the first fairly simple kick wide of the posts and Broome attempted the next from further out which just sailed past the wrong side of the uprights.
Within five minutes Newark responded with a converted try to draw level due to four missed tackles by Spalding.
However Spalding began to control the match with the forwards dominating and a high tackle on Harry Brown produced a good kick into touch by Mackie for a Spalding lineout, which they won.
The ball was smuggled to the back of a driving maul being controlled by Pete Waudby and, with the try line in sight, he dived over for Spalding’s second try.
Brown was again prominent in open play with a storming burst through the Newark defence and ran in the next try which was successfully converted
Newark made an immediate response from the restart and gained a scrum on Spalding’s 22 and the referee spotted a home team’s hand in the scrum, which resulted in Newark scoring their second unconverted try.
Just before half-time the Newark number eight was yellow-carded and with Spalding having the better of the first half they went in with a 19-12 advantage.
The second half started with Rob Lucas replacing Will Shields at scrum-half but within minutes Spalding found themselves behind.
Mackie opened the door for Newark with a poor pass to his inside centre, which resulted in the visitors making a simple interception to score from 15 metres to level – and it wasn’t long before they took the lead with a further try.
Spalding coach Andy McMahon used the bench with Josh Carney on for the injured Sam Cooke, Tim Waltham on for Mark Haighton and Williamson on for George Brown.
However, some familiar failings started to appear with missed tackles and failure to close down Newark when in possession.
As a result Newark scored four tries within a 15-minute spell and the only thing left for Spalding was to endeavour to secure a bonus point by scoring a fourth try, which they achieved when young winger Broome scored in the corner and followed up with the difficult conversion from out wide.
Spalding: Chappell (captain), Waudby, Cooke, Hutson, Haighton, Piccaver, E Duerden, T Duerden, H Brown, Shields, Mackie, Broome, G Brown, Moore, Lucas, Caley, Waltham, Williamson.