Spalding go up in fine style
IT was a case of third time lucky for Spalding on Saturday.
After just missing out in promotion play-offs in the two previous seasons, the Lincolnshire lads got it right this time, beating Market Harborough 25-10 at the Memorial Field to win promotion to Midlands Division One East.
Head coach Ben Hausermann had clearly got his lads in the right frame of mind and they displayed overwhelming passion from the start. Helped by a crowd of 400 supporters, they were determined not to be let down on this occasion.
Spalding put the Market Harborough defence under pressure early and were rewarded when Lawrence Rayner placed the ball cleanly between the uprights from a penalty kick to give Spalding a 3-0 lead.
From the restart Rayner secured the ball and broke clear to find touch deep in the Harborough 22 metre area and after Mark Haighton won the visitors’ lineout ball, the Spalding forwards drove for the line and it was Ben Williams, playing in the number eight position, who went over for the first try. Rayner had no problem in adding the two extra points.
Harborough reduced the deficit to 10-3 with a penalty but a fine handling move by the Spalding backs ended with Rayner kicking his second penalty to make the interval score 13-3.
The second half started with Spalding’s backs again applying pressure and it wasn’t long before Harry Sharman squeezed over in the corner after a fine run by Ben Williamson. Rayner converted with what was probably his best kick of the afternoon.
Spalding were by now doing most of the attacking and Hausermann, Wes Cope and Jimmy Rowlands all came close to scoring.
On several occasions Spalding drove to the line but were held up short by stout defence from the visitors. Another score was inevitable and following a great kick by Rayner and some fine driving by the pack, it was once again Ben Williams who grabbed the touchdown. Rayner’s conversion made it 25-3 and there was no way back for Harborough, although they did score a late consolation try.
Spalding and their supporters celebrated a famous victory which will be remembered for many years to come and easily obliterate the memories of the previous two successive losses in the league playoffs.