Bourne Rugby Club and Spalding Rugby Club meet in Midlands 3 East (South) clash
Bourne's clinical execution proved the difference on derby day as they defeated Spalding in Saturday's Midlands 3 East (South) clash.
The hosts scored two tries and kicked a penalty to maintain second spot in the table while Spalding were left to rue a number of missed opportunities.
The highly-competitive contest pitted a Bourne side who are challenging for honours against a Spalding team struggling recently with a relatively young line-up who are towards the bottom of the league.
They say that the form book goes out of the window in local derby matches though and the big question for the large crowd along the touchline would Spalding spring a surprise or would the home team roll over their visitors.
During the last couple of weeks, Spalding’s coaching team has been boosted with former players Jim Williams now assisting Ali Sharp and also Wes Cope joining with his experience and knowledge of playing at a higher level.
The first opportunity to score fell to the home team after only three minutes but the penalty kick was missed.
However, Bourne were edging the opening minutes but, as they spread the ball wide along their backs, Lewis Adams intercepted and cut a brilliant line to go over the try line but the ball was lost forward with a last ditch intervention from a Bourne defender.
Within a minute Spalding were back on the attack with strong carries by Ash Anker, Kev Hudson and Harry Cole but desperate defence by Bourne held the ball up and the visitors' second opportunity in the opening minutes was missed.
There was a good even contest developing between the forwards at the breakdown. Line-out possession was also fairly even with Jason Steels and Ash Piccaver looking secure but again Bourne’s work was also well-drilled.
Bourne's centres were starting to look dangerous with their pace and support play led to a good break through Spalding’s defence for the opening unconverted try. A few minutes later another penalty kick was missed.
Spalding reacted positively and, with their forwards encamped within Bourne’s 22, the final pass to Pete Waudby with the try line beckoning went astray.
It was then Bourne’s turn to ramp up the pressure, first with a successful penalty kick followed by another penalty but this time electing to kick for touch that completely missed the sideline and wasted their opportunity.
Within the opening minutes of the second half, left wing James Luto pulled up and was replaced by Fabian Simpson and another penalty kick by Bourne was missed from distance.
Spalding were striving for their opening score mainly through their forward play while Bourne were confidently spreading the ball wide and on a couple of occasions last man tackles by full-back Conall Mason saved the day.
On at least three occasions, Spalding established field position a few metres short of the try line but the clinical finishing was missing as Bourne defended stoutly.
The only score of a tight second half again came from Bourne’s threat in the backs as they broke from their own half and, with good support play, left Spalding's defence stranded and, with a successful conversion kick, a 15 point lead had been established with 15 minutes left to play.
Again Spalding came back at Bourne and Harry Cole, supported by his young brother Will, made an impact with their carries.
On the left wing Fabian Simpson was showing his pace while Spalding centres Harry Waine and Gav Sharman were finding some room and again creating field position but on the day the final drive for the try line was not successful.
With the last move of the match, Spalding hit a grubber kick through and the ball rebounded off the corner flag, back infield for Simpson to pick up and touch down only for the referee to rule that the ball had touched the line, therefore no try, much to the surprise of nearby spectators.
The whistle then blew to bring an end to a highly-competitive derby match where the scoreline reflected Bourne’s clinical execution while Spalding had at least six genuine scoring opportunities that were not taken on the day.
A big plus from the game was scrum half Ben Shields who, having spent a couple of seasons out on the wing, had an excellent match against experienced opposition.
Bourne: Connor Kelly, Harry Thornburn, Jake Appleby, Sam Harby, Daniel Day, Daniel Smith, Adam Binns, Andrew Brown, Jonjo Roberts, Sam Evison, John Charlton, Sam Thornburn, Adam McHugh, Dave Maudsley, Jack Berry. Subs: Paul Mabey, Tom Bishop, Charlie Short.
Spalding: Kev Hudson, Miguel Da Silva, Peter Waudby, Connor Lilburn, Ash Anker, Ash Piccaver, Jason Steels, Harry Cole, Ben Shields, Adam Sutcliffe, Lewis Adams, Gav Sharman, Harry Waine, James Luto, Conall Mason. Subs Will Cole, Fabian Simpson, Ed Williams.