Sleaford 1st XV 8 Huntingdon 90
WITH Sleaford’s cup run from last year now a distant memory, they faced Huntingdon at home on Saturday in a higher version of the cup they reached the semi-finals in last year.
Sleaford’s team once again involved numerous late changes, with Frisby being called up and Dolton taking his place on the right wing. Ambler was also called onto the left wing to make his first start for the firsts at home.
After the Red and Blacks failed to gather possession at the start, Huntingdon took advantage and went over for their first try of the day with the Sleaford defence getting drawn in too close to the ruck.
Sleaford immediately responded and began to put together a series of forward drives which caused problems for the Huntingdon defenc. Mackie nudged the ball towards the corner to set up a line out. After a series of drives the ball was spun wide to Ambler, who crossed the line for Sleaford’s first points of the day.
Unfortunately, this was as good as it got for Sleaford. They were unable to retain possession to trouble the opposing defence and every time Huntingdon had possession they looked dangerous. Too many times simple mistakes were made by Sleaford in defence and these were comprehensively punished by a Huntingdon side who were well drilled and played expansive rugby all afternoon, scoring points almost at will.
There were short periods when Sleaford did look dangerous when the forwards worked in their pods and created decent ball for the backs.
Spencer once again broke the defensive line but support was too often not close enough. His partnership with Dores in the centres was one of the positives for Sleaford.
Mackie’s restarts were another positive, although he will be hoping not have to have so many chances to practice in future weeks.
Overall another disappointing week for Sleaford and they will need to improve in all areas if they are to show progress in future weeks.
Sleaford RFC 1st XV: Beswick, Woollatt, Woollas, Downing (capt), Cockcroft, Loweth, Bradwell, Pocklington, Mackie, McQuade, Nick, Dores, Spencer, Ambler, Collyer. Subs: Robinson, Frisby
* On Saturday, Sleaford entertain Belgrave at Ruskington Road. Kick off 3pm.