Mkt Rasen & Louth 62
Spalding RFC 0
Injury-plagued Spalding RFC saw their Midlands One East campaign go from bad to worse on Saturday as county rivals Market Rasen and Louth handed them an eighth loss on the bounce.
The match between the only two Lincolnshire teams in the division always looked set to be a one-sided affair, with Rasen sitting comfortably in mid-table and Town rooted at the bottom.
And so it proved, with Spalding convincingly beaten after being forced to field a weakened side that contained two players making their debuts from the Colts side – Will Moore on the left wing and Charlie Seconde at full back.
The game was only three minutes old when Market Rasen were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for an early lead – and it was not long before the home team were again on the attack down their right wing.
Moore, who was trying to intercept a pass, was judged to have deliberately knocked on and was shown a yellow card.
From the penalty Rasen kicked for a lineout on the five metre line, and a successful catch and drive saw Spalding collapsing the maul and the referee awarded a penalty try.
As in previous weeks, Spalding’s defensive frailties were sorely exposed during the next 25 minutes.
The Rasen forwards continuously gained ground, setting up good attacking positions within Town’s half.
The ball was then released quickly by the home scrum-half to his fly-half, who was now running the show by either bringing his centres onto a crash ball moves through the vulnerable and failing defensive tackling or along their backs onto the speedy wingers.
Five tries with four conversions resulted in Rasen being 43-0 up at half time and Spalding facing a massive uphill battle.
With the wind now in Town’s favour, it was their forwards who were starting to get across the gain line.
They were supported by the two centres, George Brown and Ryan Chappell, who were bashing the ball up through the middle. But the ball very rarely reached as far as the two wingers.
There was more injury woe for Town too, as Sam Cooke took a knock to his shoulder and was replaced by Josh Caly at hooker ten minutes into the second half.
Rasen had now weathered the initial Spalding pressure and responded with a drive down the middle, with stand-in skipper Chappell putting in a good defensive tackle to slow the attack.
But he did not release the tackled player and was shown a yellow card for the offence. The home team immediately capitalised with a converted try.
That prompted Spalding coach Andy McMahon to make the decision that it was time to blood two further Colts, with Kieran Bailey replacing Tim Waltham at flank and Nick Eggleton coming on for George Brown.
It was then Rasen’s turn for a yellow card, as they were penalised for not rolling away from the tackle area.
But this did not seem a handicap for them, as Spalding conceded a further try. The final score was run in with ten minutes remaining for a humbling final score of 62-0.
The second half was something of a moral victory to Spalding, who turned the tables on the home team and had exerted considerable pressure on Rasen without ever threatening a score.
During the match they fielded a total of seven Colts players as injuries within the first team squad have mounted in recent weeks.
The likes of Will Shields, Waltham and Ed Booth have been playing with spirit and determination during this difficult start to the season, while Seconde was a bit taken aback by the speed of play and the instant decision making required at this level.
Still, he came through his debut well, along with fellow debutant Moore.
Spalding RFC: Ryan Chappell (captain), Jacob Hutson, Sam Cooke, Alex Ioannou, Mark Haighton, Ash Piccaver, Tom Duerden, Tim Waltham, Harry Brown, Will Shields, Dan Mackie, Will Moore, George Brown, Ed Booth, Charlie Seconde, Josh Bailey and Nick Eggleton.