Rugby Union
Spa step up promotion push

01/02 Updated: 08/02 11:12

Leamington 23 Upton-on-Severn 14

LEAMINGTON kept their Midlands Two West (South) promotion hopes alive with a comfortable victory at Moorefields on Saturday.

Spa started in high tempo with the pack, led by skipper Nick Maxwell, launching a continuous onslaught on the visitors 22 metre area.

He was given solid support from props Terry Curran and Danny Phillips as they used the rolling maul to good effect to try and pierce the stubborn, Upton, defence.

Several good chances were spurned before Spa finally got on the scoresheet when Nathan Earland ended a fine run by slipping a crisp pass to Alex Carroll who forced his way over the line.

The back row of Mike Kelly, Keiran Martin and Danny Ruyssevelt created plenty of openings, through direct running, to give the back line good possession.

However, despite some quality handling and invention, Spa found it difficult to add more points and Upton took full advantage by making an interception in their own 22 to score a converted try from their first foray into home territory.

“Patch” Northover restored Spa’s lead with a well judged penalty goal and the home side applied more pressure.

Curran, was availing himself for the crash ball from the many mauls, while Simon Harry and Craig Smith dominated the line-outs which led to Northover’s trusty boot slotting over another penalty just before half time.

The 11-7 scoreline did little to indicate the territorial advantage Spa had enjoyed in the first period and it was no surprise to the home support when the lead was increased.

The relentless pressure resulted in a string of penalties, from one of which the alert Northover caught the Upton defence napping by quickly releasing Carroll who raced through and whipped out a pass to Tarquin Snell who scampered over. Northover added the extras.

With Spa now in the van, they increased their lead through some enterprising play.

Adam Preece made an incisive break up the left flank and was held up just short but Carroll fizzed out a slick pass to centre Tom Daplyn who crashed over.

Upton punished a rare lapse to score a converted try but it only proved a consolation effort as Spa ran out winners.

Spa visit table topping Barkers Butts this Saturday (2.15pm).

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