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Spalding at full strength for Midlands Senior Vase final at Dunstablians




Spalding have a 22-strong squad to choose from for the club’s biggest game in nearly six years on Saturday.

Not since the Elephants clinched promotion to Midlands Division One East in April 2014 has player/coach Harry Sharman, captain for what was a memorable day at Memorial Field, and his side been presented with a chance to achieve something significant for the club.

Spalding travel to Bedfordshire where they will face fellow Midlands Three East (South) side Dunstablians in the final of the Midlands Senior Vase at the host's Bedford Road ground (kick off 3pm).

Captain Dan Adams (left) and player-coach Harry Sharman have tough choices to make ahead of Spalding’s Midlands Senior Vase final.Photo: 091119-6.
Captain Dan Adams (left) and player-coach Harry Sharman have tough choices to make ahead of Spalding’s Midlands Senior Vase final.Photo: 091119-6.

The winners will go through to the RFU (Rugby Football Union) Senior Vase nationaol semi-finals and be just one win away from a trip to the home of English rugby union, Twickenham.

Sharman said: "We all play rugby for moments like this so we'll be excited, but at the same time nervous.

"I know that we'll have the right type of nerves to try and win the games because we've had a good run of results recently.

Dunstablians (in action against Bourne at Milking Nook Drove in January) host Spalding in the Midlands Senior Vase final on Saturday.Photo by Alan Hancock.
Dunstablians (in action against Bourne at Milking Nook Drove in January) host Spalding in the Midlands Senior Vase final on Saturday.Photo by Alan Hancock.

"We'll have a full complement of players to select from, but what's good about our side is that it's been picking itself, based on having a bit of continuity.

"The game on Saturday will come down to errors and if we cough up the ball, or give away cheap penalties, it'll be a tough day at the office.

"But we're a very good team on our day and if we can play our game, getting our backs to score points, we can win the game on Saturday."

Spalding warmed up for their showdown with Dunstablians on Saturday with a 17-17 draw at Rushden & Higham in the league last weekend.

Rushden & Higham against Spalding.Photo by Brian Gates. (31147309)
Rushden & Higham against Spalding.Photo by Brian Gates. (31147309)

Tries by Ash Anker, Jack Patrick and Willis Ingleby saw the Elephants recover from a 12-17 deficit, with five minutes left, to draw a game which saw Sharman and lock Ash Piccaver sin-binned.

Meanwhile, Flanker Ryan Chappell was taken off due to a shoulder issue but he is expected to be fit for the final.

Spalding captain Dan Adams said: "Rushden & Higham was a bit of an eye-opener and reality check for us.

Captain Dan Adams (left) and player-coach Harry Sharman have tough choices to make ahead of Spalding’s Midlands Senior Vase final.Photo: 091119-6.
Captain Dan Adams (left) and player-coach Harry Sharman have tough choices to make ahead of Spalding’s Midlands Senior Vase final.Photo: 091119-6.

"It was probably one of the worst games we've played in terms of ability and that may have been because we were looking too far ahead to the final.

"We know that we've got the ability and talent, but what wasn't there last Saturday were some of the simpler things that we shouldn't really getting wrong.

"Our handling, tackling, keeping hold of the ball and giving away penalties are things that we'll put right in training, focusing a bit more on the basics."

Spalding flanker Ryan Chappell is expected to be fit for Saturday's Midlands Senior Vase final after aggravating a shoulder problem at Rushden & Higham.
Spalding flanker Ryan Chappell is expected to be fit for Saturday's Midlands Senior Vase final after aggravating a shoulder problem at Rushden & Higham.

Sharman said: "The winning mentality is definitely showing in the side and we're aiming to do all we can to get the right result at Dunstablians on Saturday."


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