Spalding RUFC players can hold their heads high despite their 55-14 loss against Market Rasen and Louth in the NLD Cup first round at Memorial Field today.
A try from flanker Tim Waltham and three penalties from Josh Broome made sure there was no repeat of Town’s 62-0 mauling against their north east Lincolnshire opponents.
With key players such as club captain Harry Sharman, fly half Danny Mackie and back Ben Williams out injured, Spalding were up against it from the outset, having only two replacements to call on as back-up to their starting 15.
Meanwhile, Market Rasen and Louth were ruthless in taking their scoring opportunities, running in three unconverted tries after just nine minutes of the game.
Broome steadied things with a penalty in the 11th minute, but Rasen then scored again to make it 22-3 with a conversion after 16 minutes.
Broome slotted his second penalty three minutes later, but another Rasen try and conversion on 26 minutes put the visitors 23 points in front of their hosts at 29-6.
The faithful fans at Memorial Field did see their side show considerable chracter in scoring a try on the half-hour mark when Waltham went over from a ruck, although Broome did miss the conversion attempt.
Then things got even worse for Spalding on 35 minutes when right wing Brian Browne collided with full back Charlie Seconde, with both men leaving the game through injury.
John Barrett and Gareth Ozbourne replaced them just as Rasen scored their sixth try and with their third conversion, the half time score was 36-11 to the visitors.
Broome’s third penalty early in the second half reduced the deficit to 36-14, but that was to be the last score of the game for Spalding as their opponents scored three more tries, two of them converted, to put the game out of Spalding’s reach.
Afterwards, Town coach Andy McMahon said: “We can’t fail to be proud because we’ve lost a lot (of players) through injury and we had quite a few second 13 players who just stepped up to the mark.
“We knew that the skill levels they would play at wasn’t going to be great but they had a lot of heart and I couldn’t be more proud of my players because of what they did.
“They stepped up to the mark, they did what they could do, some of them pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones and put their heads on the line.”
“What more could we ask of them?”