Spalding’s hopes of ending their successful campaign with victory in the Senior County Cup Final were thwarted by an impressive Scunthorpe display.
Having clinched promotion thanks to a play-off success against Newbold on Avon a week earlier, Town travelled to Kesteven Rugby Club knowing they faced an almighty task against Lincolnshire’s premier side.
Scunthorpe play their rugby two leagues higher than Spalding and the difference was clearly evident.
It didn’t help that Spalding were without eight regulars and forced to call up willing but less powerful fringe players.
Spalding kicked off playing into the strong wind and were soon awarded a penalty from which James West found touch 30 metres from the Scunthorpe try line.
Spalding won the lineout but lost the ball in the following play, enabling Scunthorpe to break away for the first try of the match.
The try was converted so after ten minutes the north Lincolnshire side had a seven-point lead which became 14-0 seven minutes later after a similar move.
Kevin Childs was making strong runs in the centre for Spalding but he was unable to get great penetration and the score had increased to 21-0 midway through the first half.
Scunthorpe were being made to work hard for their points but on the majority of occasions they attacked in the first half they scored.
Indeed, it was 40-0 at the break after three more tries, two of which were converted, but Spalding at least responded by ‘winning’ the second half.
With the wind in their favour, Spalding were finally able to make some progress and it wasn’t long before they got some points on the board.
Dan Cooper broke through the opposition defence and was within five metres of the line when he was stopped.
Scunthorpe cleared into touch and Spalding won the lineout and then drove for the line with Josh Finch going over for his side’s first points.
There was no conversion and Scunthorpe increased their lead ten minutes later with a converted try.
Spalding skipper Harry Sharman, who did his best to contain the opposition’s score, then opened up from his side’s own defensive position and made ground before passing to winger Ollie Phillips who outpaced the opposition as he ran 60 metres to touch down near the posts.
West converted to make it was 47-12 after an hour of the match.
Scunthorpe were now making mistakes and the ever-present Wes Cope broke through their centre before feeding Childs, who kicked ahead to give Phillips the opportunity to chase the ball into the touchdown area.
The Scunthorpe full-back won the race to touchdown and went off to restart play at the 22 metre line.
However, in his haste, he mis-kicked the ball and it only went a few metres along the ground into the hands of Spalding second row forward Tim Waltham who, with nobody in front of him, went over for his first senior try.
West converted to make it 47-19 with five minutes remaining. Scunthorpe had the final say though, touching down to the right of the posts with their reliable kicker converting.