Youngsters hit back to share second half

Spalding were beaten home and away by Paviors
Spalding were beaten home and away by Paviors
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Spalding travelled to Paviors knowing this was one of their last opportunities to finally record a first win of the season – but they suffered their 23rd league defeat.

Although their hosts were lying comfortably in 10th position in the league, they were eager to make amends for their 67-0 loss against league leaders Syston the previous week and were looking forward to the return of club captain Steve Allen, making his first appearance of the season.

Spalding were missing more players with coach Ben Williams in the starting line-up, Jay Harwood returning after an injury which has seen him out for the majority of the season and nine of the 18 players being aged 19 or under.

Play was pretty even for the opening 15 minutes, with Spalding holding their own.

However, the home team punished Spalding over the next 25 minutes as they ran in six tries and converted three by exploiting poor defending from missed tackles, and shipping the ball out wide, leaving a half-time score of 34-0.

Substitutes Josh Cayley and Jordan Templar – in his first run-out for the 1st XV – came on in the front and second row respectively.

Under pressure, Josh Broome intercepted a pass and ran from his own 22-metre line to score. He duly converted to put the first seven points on the scoreboard for Spalding.

Five minutes later Doug Billam was able to score his second try of the afternoon which was converted.

Spalding maintained heart and held the opposition’s frontline for the next 20 minutes, pressurising their defence, with good use of set-pieces and holding the scrums for no reward.

Spalding were penalised by a turn over of the ball, it was shipped out wide and with missed tackles, Ollie Barnes – having just come on as a sub for the home side – scored and the try was then converted.

Following the restart Paviors applied pressure into Spalding’s 22-metre line.

The Spalding forwards were able to turn the ball over and with a huge clearance kick down field right into Paviors 22, Broome chased up, with 
support from Chris Douglas and Charlie Seconde.

Paviors, unable to deal with the ball, allowed Broome to pass out to Douglas who offloaded to Seconde to score in the corner.

Spalding were determined to keep Paviors below 50 points but it was not to be.

An unconverted try took the score to 53-12 with seven minutes to go.

Spalding did not lose heart and in the dying minutes of the game, pressure from the forwards allowed vice-captain Sam Cooke to score a try which was converted.

Despite the final score, Spalding should take heart from the fact they drew the second half.

There were some positive performances from fielding so many young players with little experience of playing at such a level.