Spalding RFC under-17s prepared for their NLD qualifier against Boston under-17/18s with a hard-fought 12-5 friendly against Peterborough Colts.
It was the Colts who started the stronger but, against the run of play, Spalding were first on the scoresheet.
Full-back Adam Castle fly hacked through and winger Ciaran Thompson, at full pelt, put his football skills to action to kick and win the touchdown.
Castle then converted to put Town’s teens 7-0 ahead.
From the kick-off there were a few spicy exchanges – and the referee called both captains over for a chat in a bid to calm things down.
Peterborough found a few gaps around the fringes with their bigger forwards and eventually won a penalty within kicking distance.
Instead of kicking for the posts, they ran the move that resulted in a try out wide, with Chris Emery only fingertips away from the tackle. The conversion missed.
Peterborough smelt blood early in the second period and pushed forward. They were stopped on one occasion by the dependable Castle and then later by a last-gasp tackle by captain Tom Birdseye.
However, Town turned things around and almost ran in another try when Emery was forced into touch. Castle then attempted a drop goal, but saw his effort charged down. This left them vulnerable to a breakaway as the clock wound down.
Spalding finally got some breathing space late on when Castle punted the ball through and his team-mates pummelled the line – with the likes of Will Jupp and Elliot Kulleside pushing for a grandstand finish.
Fletcher came close and the ball was recycled blind for outside-half Mark Hendy to barge over in the corner right at the death. The conversion was missed, but Spalding won a tough encounter 12-5.
Spalding RFC: Ben Rippon, Chris Emery, Elliot Kulleside, Connor Barnes, Will Fletcher, Tristan Whincup, Callum Scuffham, Tom Birdseye, James Thomas, Mark Hendy, Ciaran Thompson, Jonathan James Faulkner, Jack Whadcock, Will Morgan, Adam Castle, Will Jupp and Jake Morris.