Spalding Rugby Club beat Bedford Queens in Midlands 3 East (South) clash
Spalding made hard work of beating bottom-of-the-table Bedford Queens on a blustery afternoon at the New Ground on Saturday.
They ran out 17-10 winners in the key Midlands 3 East (South) clash between two sides lying near the bottom of the table.
They took to the field with vice-captain George Brown again leading the team out in his more familiar position of centre.
Spalding were also boosted by the return of prop Pete Waudby, flanker Ash Piccaver and number eight Harry Sharman.
It was a fairly strong Spalding team who took to the field at New Ground in front of a good number of supporters on the touchline.
The early exchanges saw Spalding dominating possession using their forwards with strong carries to gain territory with a fairly strong wind assisting when kicking for touch.
However, Queens were showing an adventure in their backs with their scrum half proving tricky with snipping runs and their full-back lighting up the pitch with his speed.
For a team lying bottom of the table and playing away from home they were proving a tough nut to crack.
Harry Cole, Harry Sharman and Connor Lilburn were prominent as Spalding kept pressing deep inside Queens territory and finally Pete Waudby charged through the defence to dive over the try line and, with Conall Mason converting , Spalding were on their way.
However, Queens swiftly pulled a try back as they easily opened up Spalding’s defence out wide with the confidence to pass along their backs.
But it was Spalding’s pack of forwards who took hold of the game with their scrum having a slight advantage and Mark Haighton winning good ball in the lineout.
A strong carry by Ash Anker set up space for Harry Sharman to burst through and, with a sidestep, was over the line for a converted try.
Minutes later Sharman looked odds on for a second try as he burst through Queens defence but a last ditch tackle saw him lose the ball forward just a metre short.
The second half saw Spalding more on the defensive as Queens used the benefit of the strong wind to kick deep into home territory helped by a number of penalties conceded.
Marking his return Ash Piccaver burst through Queens initial defence on the halfway line, using his strength and speed to go clear.
With the try line fast approaching Queens were finally able to tackle Piccaver to the ground, but Haighton was following up to go over for a converted try extending THE narrow lead to 12 points.
Macaulay Crane replaced Anker in the pack and shortly afterwards captain Brown took a knock in a tackle while stopping a Queens counter attack and was replaced by Jorrit Schrauwers, with Piccaver dropping
into the backs.
Ben Shields at full-back was being tested by Queens with their kicks down wind and both Spalding wingers Callum Lewis and Alan Charevicius were spending more time in deep positions in support of Shields.
Queens then caused Spalding to have a nervous last 10 minutes as they scored a try knowing that a further converted score would secure them an unlikely draw.
Spalding’s defence held firm though to secure their second league win of the season and, with other results going their way, moved them a couple of places up the league
Spalding: Pete Waudby, Miguel Da Silva, Harry Cole, Connor Lilburn, Mark Haighton, Ash Ankar, Ash Piccaver, Harry Sharman, Adam Sutcliffe, Conall Mason, Callum Lewis, Gav Sharman, George Brown, Alan Charevicius, Ben Shields subs Richard Stevenson, Macauley Crane, Jorrit Schrauwers.