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Spalding Rugby Club defeat Northampton Men's Own in Midlands 3 East (South) match



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Spalding recorded a vital victory against a Northampton Men's Own side who had started the day just two points behind their hosts in the Midlands 3 East (South) standings.

The 27-15 success was the product of Spalding playing some excellent rugby in patches.

Men's Own were always in the match and would have taken any chances given to them but Spalding's defence was good when under pressure and their varied attacking play helped secure a bonus point win.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931583)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931583)

Having had a good training week, the home side had the luxury of selection problems, welcoming former captains Harry Sharman back in the pack at number eight and Ryan Chappell on the subs bench to bring a wealth of experience.

Men’s Own started brightly knowing that earlier in the season they had racked up 40 points at home against Spalding after playing an attractive running game.

With wind advantage, their fly half Cairns was soon kicking deep for territory and putting Spalding under pressure and, with a successful penalty kick, the visitors had an early advantage.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931582)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931582)

However, the lead only lasted two minutes as, from a good restart kick by Conall Mason, both flankers Will Shields and Will Cole were up challenging.

With possession regained, scrum half Adam Sutcliffe fizzed the ball to Mason while centre Taylor Crowson broke through Men’s Own's initial defensive line with lock Sam Noble with a good carry setting up a ruck just a couple of metres short of the try line and prop Harry Cole used his strength to drive over the line.

With a purple patch of play, Spalding further increased their lead within three minutes.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931581)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931581)

Using their speed in the backs to open up the visitors defence, Gav Sharman’s pass gave left winger Callum Lewis a run for the try line from 20 metres for a further score.

With a good conversion kick from out wide by Mason, Spalding had a nine-point advantage.

Within five minutes, Men’s Own showed that their centres had pace to burn as the ball was worked across from left to right giving their right winger Garbett the simple task of a run in and, with a good conversion, there was only one score between the teams.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931580)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931580)

The visitors' fly half dominated the game for the next 15 minutes with some excellent kicks using the wind but, when he had the space, he was bringing into play his two centres which was causing problems for Spalding.

Spalding’s full-back George Douglas was well up for the challenge with his catching of the high ball setting in motion several counter attacks but with no further score the half time whistle blew.

The second half opened with Spalding on the attack with both Ryan Chappell and Ash Anker off the bench for Connor Lilburn and Will Cole.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931579)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931579)

From an attacking ruck, Men’s Own were caught offside and the penalty kick was successfully converted by Mason.

Harry Sharman was coming into his own with his big hitting carries, always gaining territory and Chappell also brought pace and ability to break the initial tackle.

But there was also frustration with handling errors as Spalding knocked on as the forwards drove forward into space.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931578)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931578)

It was the backs opening up Men’s Own defence with Mason and Taylor combining at pace to put Gav Sharman in for an excellent try taking Spalding’s lead to 10 points.

Spalding’s back line were always threatening and a deliberate knock on stopping a flowing move brought a yellow card for Men’s Own inside centre.

With a man advantage, Spalding went searching for the killer blow and Harry Sharman created space on the blind side with a forceful charge and hand off, giving left winger Lewis another scoring chance as he cut back inside at pace and. with the conversion, the hosts were starting to look out of sight.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931577)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931577)

But to Men’s Own credit they kept battling to the end, showed their ability as they counter attacked from deep through their centres for the final score with only a minute left to play

Match referee, Spike Sheldon, was excellent and contributed hugely to the standard of play.

The bonus point victory for Spalding was well deserved and, if they can take this level of performance away to Bedford Queens this weekend, their league position will look a lot brighter.

Spalding: Pete Waudby, Miguel Da Silva, Harry Cole, Connor Lilburn, Sam Noble, Will Shields, Will Cole, Harry Sharman, Adam Sutcliffe, Conall Mason, Ben Shields, Taylor Crowson, Gav Sharman, Callum Lewis, George Douglas. Subs: Ryan Chappell, James Luto, Ash Anker.

Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931576)
Spalding were 27-15 winners against Northampton Mens Own on Saturday. Photo: Adrian Smith (54931576)


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