SPALDING RFC 25 MATLOCK RFC 17: TOWN ended their five-game losing streak in style as they leaped out of the bottom two of Midlands One East on Saturday.
SHigh-flying Matlock had thrashed Spalding 65-9 earlier in the season, but Harry Sharman’s side really turned the tables at the Memorial Field.
With a fierce wind behind them in the first half, Town knew they had to make it count. After a cagey start, the hosts were awarded a penalty and Dave Hankinson slotted the kick over to open the scoring.
They added to their tally soon after, with Kev Childs pouncing on a mistake, beat two men and running fully 30 yards to touch down. Hankinson added the conversion to make it 10-0.
Matlock refused to cave in though, and repeatedly drove forward to score a try of their own wide out. The conversion failed, but the away side were back in the game.
That score seemed to lift the visitors, who hauled themselves level moments later. Having given away a scrum after knocking the ball on, Matlock burst through to score again, although the conversion was again beaten by the wind.
With only five minutes of the half left and Town needing a score, a fine re-start kick from Hankinson took play deep into their opponents’ half.
Spalding won the ball and made space down the left wing, with Tom Duerden receiving the final pass to score in the corner. The conversion missed, but a 15-10 lead at half-time left the hosts in a decent position.
Their position got even better early in the second period, with Ollie Phillips going over after neat play from Hankinson, who duly slotted the conversion over.
Speedy winger Phillips almost delivered a carbon-copy try moments later, but his foot went into touch before he was about to cross the line.
However, Town were then handed a penalty inside the Matlock 22, allowing Hankinson to kick the hosts 25-10 ahead.
Matlock did touch down a converted try from the final attack of the game, but it wasn’t enough to deny Spalding a first league win since November 19 – much to the delight of their loyal home support.
With a trip to basement boys Nuneaton Old Edwardians next up on Saturday (2.15pm), Town will be confident of breaking their away duck for the season as they bid to pull further clear of the drop zone.
Town: Sharman (captain), Rowlands, Dowse, Welsh, McNally, T Duerden, Craig, E Duerden, J Williams, Hankinson, Phillips, Chappell, Beeken, Childs, Lucas, Boothby, H Brown, Adams.