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Spalding Rugby Club are beaten by Old Laurentians





Spalding suffered an agonising defeat with the last play of their game at Old Laurentians on Saturday.

Having convincingly beaten the Rugby-based side at home the previous week, the Elephants went down to a 26-25 reversal despite leading the Counties 1 Midlands East (South) clash for the majority of the match.

This was a similar outcome to two weeks ago when they also lost away to Vipers late on - the only consolation on Saturday was that they came away with two bonus points.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

Spalding kicked off and immediately pinned Laurentians inside their 22 and it was not long before both packs were going down for a scrum.

Last week, Spalding were dominant and they again had the home pack on the retreat with a penalty being awarded and Conall Mason slotted the ball between the posts for a three point lead after four minutes.

Laurentians immediately responded, forcing Spalding to defend their try line, which they successfully did.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

Will Shields secured a ruck turnover and a long clearance kick by Mason saw winger Callum Ferguson chase down and, with a good tackle, pinned the home team deep inside their 22.

There was no escape for the home team as Spalding's press defence was quickly upon their opponents with Ask Anker and Miguel Da Silva tackling fiercely, finally drawing a penalty on the five metre line.

With the ball secure and Spalding's scrum edging forward, Jack Grundy picked up at the base of the scrum and, with his strength and determination, forced his way over the try line. After a successful conversion by Mason, Spalding were 10 points up.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

Laurentians had a yellow card for head contact in a tackle and Spalding kicked for a lineout.

Despite both George Douglas and Will Shields normally securing a good lineout ball, they instead went to the back of the lineout.

It was overthrown and Laurentians counter-attacked through their backs and, with a converted try, the home team were back in the game through Spalding's mistake.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

Play was now end-to-end, but a scrum penalty kick to Spalding from 40 metres saw them increase their lead.

With half-time approaching another penalty to Spalding saw a kick to touch and they were battering Laurentians' try line with Alex Worth, Luke Turner and Sam Cowell all being held up.

Laurentians survived and, with further penalty kicks to both teams, Spalding had a 7-13 lead at half-time.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

Sam Noble replaced Da Silva at the interval with Anker moving to hooker but Spalding's scrum was still on top.

Five minutes after the restart, Grundy in open play sliced through a couple of Laurentian tackles for his second try.

The referee was penalising players at the ruck and it was Laurentians who had Spalding desperately defending their try line.

Cowell was yellow carded after several penalties were conceded and the home team were over in the corner for unconverted try.

Into the last quarter of the game and, after Spalding's fly half was pinned down on the floor, a surprise penalty was awarded to Laurentians. A successful penalty kick and both teams were level on 18 points.

The home team now had the upper hand and spread the ball wide along their backs, with an overlap on the left wing.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

The try was scored and, with five minutes remaining, the home team had taken the lead for the first time.

But there was an immediate response from Spalding as they pinned the home team deep in their half from the restart kick.

With the ball secured, Laurentians' try line was battered and Worth dived through to score. Mason converted and Spalding had a two point lead with around three minutes remaining.

Initially, Spalding seemed to be playing down time well, with controlled pick and goes working their way up tight along the touchline, but they conceded a penalty for sealing off.

Laurentians kicked deep to touch, secured the lineout and moved the ball along the backs to the right wing. Spalding's defence held firm and Shields tackled well with the hosts securing their ruck ball.

However, the referee blew for a penalty offence against Shields for not rolling away at the breakdown, although being pinned in and not interfering with play. From 20 metres, Laurentians slotted over the kick to win the game by one point.

Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable
Action from Spalding's defeat at Old Laurentians on Saturday. Photo: John Constable

It was a cruel blow for Spalding who should have and deserved to have come away with a league double over Laurentians.

They have now leapfrogged Spalding into sixth spot with one of the season remaining.

The last league game is on Saturday at home to Bourne who have had a good season and lie fourth in the league.

The visitors will be out for revenge with Spalding winning at Milking Nook Drove in the first game of the season. Kick-off at Centenary Park is 3pm.

Spalding: Sam Cowell, Miguel Da Silva, Luke Turner, George Douglas, Alex Worth, Ash Anker, Will Shields, Jack Grundy, Jim Wraith, Willis Ingleby, Callum Ferguson, Conall Mason, Adam Sutcliffe, Sam Christie, Jack Patrick. Subs: Tom Parker, Sam Noble, Macaulay Crane.



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