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Spalding Colts are beaten by Ilkeston Rugby Club

Spalding Colts were defeated on the last play of the game in their NLD Bowl final against Ilkeston on Saturday.

They went down to a 12-13 defeat with Ilkeston converting a penalty kick with the final action of the contest at Chesterfield.

With a strong wind blowing directly down field, Spalding kicked off and immediately put pressure on Ilkeston and, within the opening minutes, full-back Jack Bowser sliced through Ilkeston's defence for the opening try with James Holland converting.

Spalding Colts who lost in the final of the NLD Bowl.
Spalding Colts who lost in the final of the NLD Bowl.

Ilkeston were battling hard against the wind, rarely getting out of their half, while Spalding were pressing and creating opportunities but just failing to make it count.

With half-time approaching, Spalding had secured a ruck on the left side of play. Fly half Henry Duce launched his backs and winger Sam Christie showed his staggering pace for an excellently worked try.

Several more scoring opportunities beckoned but stout defence by Ilkeston and the final pass not going to hand meant at half-time Spalding had a 12-point lead.

Ilkeston immediately built pressure on Spalding with good tackles coming in from Jack Lambe and Josh Brooks but play was all in their half.

Ilkeston had a robust set of forwards and they used them to gain territory and 15 minutes into the second half the pressure finally told with a try near the posts plus a simple conversion.

Spalding were starting to give a few too many penalties away at the breakdown and, with a successful penalty kick, there was just two points separating the teams with 10 minutes remaining.

Action from Spalding Colts' match with Ilkeston.
Action from Spalding Colts' match with Ilkeston.

The tension was mounting and, with a couple of minutes remaining, Duce made what could have been a winning break down the left to ease pressure.

However, Ilkeston won the line-out and a staggering 50-20 kick took them right back into Spalding's 22.

Spalding's defence was solid but, at the breakdown, they were penalised for not rolling away and, with the last play of the game, Ilkeston slotted over the kick to win by the narrowest of margins.

This was a fine effort by the Spalding Colts after a successful season and praise also goes to their coaches who ensured all the substitutes got on the field to play their part.

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