Stamford Rugby Club are beaten in Notts, Lincs and Derbys Cup after defeat at Spalding
Stamford bowed out of the NLD Cup in the first round after a 17-10 defeat at near neighbours and new league rivals Spalding on Saturday.
As usual with the first game of the season, there were many players still unavailable after the summer break but it was a strong enough side that took the field in gale-force conditions to compete at this level.
Stamford enjoyed good possession in the early stages and, when Mike Kendall broke clear, Jack Jones was in support to take the scoring pass for the first try.
The home side hit back almost immediately and ran through some weak tackling to score their first try - on a day not suited to goal kicking neither try was converted.
Both sides were showing signs of early season lack of cohesion with penalties and errors, but Town produced a good driving maul and Sam Hillary was held up just short of the line.
When Spalding counter-attacked Jones was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and spent five frustrating minutes on the touchline.
Stamford had also lost Freddy Durrant to injury and he was followed off by Gaz Ramsden which meant a major reshuffle in the forwards.
The hosts took advantage of this to score a try wide out after a good passing move by their backs.
Both sides were committed to attacking but some poor control along with hard hitting tackles meant the score remained at 10-5 at half-time.
The swirling wind did not seem to make much difference to play in the second half with each side having to defend as the other attacked - neither side was able to control the game as they would have wanted.
Town used Jones, Hillary and the restored Ramsden to carry the ball but were unable to break the home defence.
Good line-out work saw them get to the line but the ball was spilled when it was subsequently moved wide.
The game had a long period of stalemate as neither team was able to make possession count until late in the game when Spalding pounced on a loose ball and ran half the length of the pitch to score under the post which made the conversion a simple affair.
After this it was nearly all Stamford on the attack and it was the new coach Aus Schwartz on as replacement who crashed through to score.
In the remaining minutes Town tried to get another score but were held back by a resolute Spalding defence to leave the final score in favour of the hosts.
In many ways this was a typical first game of the season and the Stamford players will know where they will have to improve.
The league fixture between these two sides will probably be a totally different affair.
Stamford have another warm-up match on Thursday evening, 7.30pm kick-off at Empingham Road against Kesteven, before the first league game at Daventry on September 14.