Hope Valley Hawks let lead slip at Sleaford

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Sleaford Spartans 32, Hope Valley Hawks 30

RUGBY League side Hope Valley Hawks fell to a narrow defeat away at Sleaford Spartans last weekend.

The Hawks started this match brightly, with winger Elliott scoring out wide to make it 4-0.

More pressure from the restart saw Sleaford concede a penalty. Good running from Shaw and Hopkinson gained ground, and Shires in support set up Boam for the second score.

The Hawks kept up the pressure through Elliott and Boam, with Muller coming on for his debut to replace Meek. Despite this, Sleaford cut the deficit to 8-4 after a good period of possession.

The Hawks tackled strongly through Wells and Muller, forcing Sleaford into touch. Valley kept possession well, and good running from Hopkinson set-up Evans for a try, converted by McGuigan.

More Hawks pressure from Hein La Grange, another debutant, saw Sleaford penalised, and again Valley capitalised, with skipper Shires scoring and McGuigan converting. On the stroke of half time, Sleaford scored a breakaway try to make it 20-8 at the interval.

The second half started brightly, with a kick through being knocked-on by the hosts. From the resulting scrum, Shires pounced for his second try, again converted, to make it 26-8.

From the restart Mylnek, another debutant, made good yardage, but progress was halted by Sleaford on the break, and they eventually narrowed the gap to 26-20.

A great break from Elliott and Shaw saw Shires score again, but the home side were not to be outdone and scored twice in quick succession.

And as the Hawks were beginning to tire, Sleaford scored again to make it 32-30 and take the lead for the first time.

Good running from Winder and McGuigan saw the Hawks held up just short of the Sleaford line right at the death.

* On Saturday, Hope Valley Hawks host Sleaford in the return fixture at Castleton (2.30pm kick-off).