With a much-changed pack Spalding travelled the shortest distance of the season to local rivals Sleaford who were lying mid-table in the league, with a good home record.
From the kick-off, with the wind blowing down the pitch in their favour, Spalding immediately took the game to Sleaford and encamped themselves on the five-metre line for the opening 10 minutes. With early signs of domination in the scrums, the forwards pick and drove for the line only to be denied by last minute defence on the try line
Having survived, Sleaford started to gain territory putting pressure on Spalding’s defensive abilities. A pass back from a ruck looking for a clearance kick saw Sleaford make charge down in the dead ball area for a scrum to Sleaford.
A pass along the backs saw Sleaford’s outside centre easily slice through Spalding’s defence for the opening converted try.
Spalding’s response was immediate. From a deep restart kick, possession was won and Dan Adams, fly half, made a penetrating run through the heart of Sleaford’s defence and with support on his shoulder, scrum half Ben Shields finished off the move scoring near the posts with Aston Capes converting
Spalding’s front row with Pete Waudby making a welcome return, Kev Hudson and John Barrett were starting to make life uncomfortable for their opposite numbers and with a good drive coming from locks Dave McClaren and George Berry, Spalding controlled a scrum deep inside Sleaford’s half. Ben Shields went blindside feeding winger Ashton Capes , who beat two defenders to score and converted to establish the lead
However Spalding’s weakness on the day was poor tackling, which handed Sleaford the opportunity to level the score. Spalding’s lineout was working very well with Kieran Bailey taking control and giving a masterclass in his art. However trying a throw in to the front saw Sleaford steal the ball to establish a half-time lead of five points
The opening quarter of an hour of the second half saw Sleaford secure victory and it started with their centre running strongly out of his 22 metres and with poor tackles, a converted try under the posts was followed again by poor tackling on Sleaford’s number eight as he burst through from the half way line
By now, Pete Smith was on for McClaren and Will Shields for Harry Cole, who sustained a cut eye and it was Shields’ quick thinking from a penalty which brought up Spalding’s third try. Spalding could now salvage something, but again, a defensive lapse gifted Sleaford a hole for their centre to run through and score.
In his first season of rugby, Capes capped a fine afternoon with his second try. Spalding’s scrum was dominant and Adams broke down the blindside and passed to Capes to score in the corner and with his conversion, Spalding secured a bonus point with just a couple of minutes left.