RUGBY: Sleaford Social defeated by league leaders

Weekend rugby union preview.
Weekend rugby union preview.

Market Rasen 3rd 38

Sleaford Social 31

Sleaford headed to local rivals Market Rasen last Saturday with the table topping hosts knowing a win would secure them the Lincolnshire Merit League title.

The home side started confidently, scoring under the posts within the first five minutes.

Sleaford soon rallied though and some great turnovers had them within the Rasen 22. But a breakaway from the home side doubled their advantage with another converted try.

With both sets of forwards battling hard, it was Sleaford’s pack that suddenly turned things around. Matt Frisby gathered the ball 20 yards out and unrivalled momentum saw him break through three tackles to get the Sleaford scoreboard ticking over. The difficult conversion just sailed past the outside of the upright from Jamie Armstrong to keep the score at 14-5.

Right from the kick-off Sleaford showed their new found belief. The ball was fielded well by Shaun Kelly to get things going. Scrum half Armstrong and fly half Toby Lloyd helped link forwards and backs as Sleaford surged into Rasen teritory with runs from forwards Mark Davies and Leon Stobart before a break from centres Chris Sheldon and Owen Warrington was stopped 10 yards short of the line. Superb support from number eight Kelly, who had started the move, saw him receive the ball on the crash and there was no stopping him from that distance. Armstrong added the conversion for 14-12.

As the the Sleaford pack pushed forwards it was a heart breaking moment when a spilled ball led to another Rasen break away and a converted try just on the stroke of half time for a score of 21-12.

The red and blacks seemed to lose their focus after the inteval and saw two relatively soft tries run in by the hosts for 33-12

Following the award of a penalty, quick ball to Frisby from short distance always has a predictable outcome and following an Armstrong conversion the deficit was cut to 33-19.

Again Sleaford felt injustice as a ball was stolen from the tackle area and run the length of the park to give Rasen a 38-19 lead.

Sleaford forwards finally sucked in the defence, allowing McQuade’s excellent change of angle to create the space to score under the posts. Lloyd added the conversion for 38-26.

Quick hands down the back line got the ball to Owen Warrington who rounded the opposition winger and full back to score in the corner, but the clock was against Sleaford and Rasen were crowned champions.

The Social XV play their final league match of the season away at Skegness 2nd XV on Saturday.