Nottingham Casuals 55
Sleaford 1st XV 0
Sleaford made the journey to Nottingham to take on Casuals having had to make a number of changes due to player unavailability.
Pocklington returned in the back row in place of Fisher having now recovered from injury, while in the back line Spencer’s unavailability meant that Loweth was called upon to move to centre with Dores.
Sleaford started well and worked their way up field with strong ball carrying, with Loweth and Dores setting up a platform for the rest of the team. This eventually led to a penalty being conceded by Casuals to the left of the post which was subsequently missed.
This seemed to galvanise Casuals, who then began to stretch the play across the pitch, moving the Sleaford forwards around.
Casuals opened the scoring when their pacey winger showed a good turn of speed to outpace the covering Sleaford defence. Lessons were not learnt from this and the same player again caused pandemonium in the Sleaford defence allowing Casuals to score two more tries quickly before half time.
Sleaford were not to be deterred and were unlucky not to be on the score-sheet before half time when a break by Dores down the middle of the pitch was halted by a good covering tackle.
For the second half Sleaford knew they needed to maintain their work rate in defence and not allow runners to go off on their own. However, they gained little possession after the break and whatever Casuals tried seemed to come off from outrageous offloads that went straight to hand or the ball bouncing in unbelievable ways.
The final score of 55-0 to Casuals did not reflect the overall game, especially as for the first 30 minutes the sides appeared evenly matched.
Sleaford know they will need to maintain the work rate they showed in the first half hour for a full 80 minutes if they are to be competitive in the league this season.
Sleaford RFC 1st XV: Beswick, Harley, Woolas, Cockroft, Downing (capt), Pocklington, Bradwell, Daughtry, Gunter, Mackie, Collyer, Loweth, Dores, Wells, McQuade. Subs: Woolat, Jones
l This Saturday, Sleaford take a break from league action and face Huntingdon at Ruskington Road in the cup. Kick off 3pm.