Spalding RFC 72 St Neots 5
Spalding RFC showed no mercy on Saturday as they thrashed Midlands Three East (South) basement side St Neots 72-5.
Playing expansive rugby, Town ran in six tries in each half to make it back-to-back bonus point wins and close within seven points of fourth place.
The blend within the team of experienced players such as hooker John Barrett, Harry Sharman, Mark Haighton and Ryan Chappell and the exciting young players of the future such as Miguel Da Silva, Jack Patrick, Conall Mason, Matty Holmes, Callum Lewis, Willis Ingleby and Will Cole is starting to really gel in the second half of the season for the in-form Elephants.
Within the first minute, Patrick showed his speed and trickery and went over in the corner for the opening try, leaving Mason with a near impossible conversion attempt into the wind.
Minutes later Harry Sharman used his strength to burst through St Neots covering defence, scoring under the posts and providing Mason with a successful conversion.
Spalding’s scrum was solid, with Barrett, Luke Turner and Da Silva trying his hand at prop, proving a handful for the opposition.
With this platform, scrum-half Will Shields and fly-half Mason had a field day as they were able to spread the ball out wide to the backs and the wingers.
It was right winger Lewis who was the next beneficiary, running in a good try in the corner.
St Neots’ forwards were finally in the game, as they carried the ball deep into Spalding’s 22 and released their outside centre, who broke through two tackles to score by the posts for a converted try.
However, this was to be the only time in the match that the visitors really threatened the home try line.
With 25 minutes of play on the clock, Harry Sharman again burst through from a ruck to score under the posts.
Within minutes, captain Dan Adams showed his pace for an unconverted try as Town continued to score freely.
With a try bonus point already secured, the bench started to be used with Macaulay Crane replacing Haighton and Jacob Greaves coming on for Da Silva.
Just before the half time whistle, Chappell was too hot to handle and went over for another converted try.
Adams continued to use his bench with Will Cole replacing Lewis. And, once the whistle had gone for the start of the second half, Shields, used his quick thinking from the back of a ruck to burst through and score.
Moments later he again outwitted the St Neots defence for his second converted try.
Adams continued the revolving door from the subs bench calling Da Silva back on for Turner.
It was star man Barrett who joined in with the try scoring feast, having already beaten four St Neots men with a scintillating run, he squeezed over in the corner, shortly afterwards, followed by Harry Sharman claiming his hat-trick of tries.
It was then the turn of Ryan Chappell to be replaced by the returning Haighton and Matty Holmes by Lewis – and it wasn’t long before Lewis was outpacing St Neots’ flagging defence for his second try.
Captain Adams recalled Turner from the bench replacing Crane, along with Holmes replacing George Brown.
Fittingly it was captain Adams who rounded off the afternoon with his second and final try of the afternoon.
To St Neots’ credit they never gave up and played with the right spirit but were, on the day, completely outplayed by a classy display from Spalding in windy conditions.
Over the next few weeks, life will get tougher for Town, with opposition from the top half of the league and their continuing successful cup runs.
Co-coach Ali Price was pleased with what he saw and said: “We still need to perfect our drills in training, ready for the weeks ahead.”
Next up for Spading – who are sixth in the table – is a home date with fourth-placed Stockwood Park on Saturday (2.15pm).
Spalding RFC: John Barrett, Miguel Da Silva, Mark Haighton, Ash Piccaver, Jack Patrick, Ryan Chappell, Harry Sharman, Will Shields, Conall Mason, Matty Holmes, Dan Adams George Brown, Callum Lewis and Gavin Sharman. Subs: Jacob Greaves, Will Cole and Macauley Crane.