Midlands League 3
SNOW cleared in just enough time for this game to go ahead, which saw Kesteven deserving to get more out of the fixture than a losing bonus point.
Kesteven had the benefit of the elements in the first half and started well. The forwards were on top and created the position which allowed Dan Turner to open the scoring with a penalty.
Both sides were keen to play running rugby and such play saw Grimsby take the lead. A missed tackle allowed the visiting full back space out on the right wing and he was able to run in for a try which was converted.
Kesteven had the misfortune to lose Scott Odams to a shoulder injury. This saw Will Pert come on, with Andy Brown moving to prop and Tyrone Miles to number eight. This reverse did not upset the Kesteven team who continued to play good flowing rugby to such effect that they were able to run in two tries before the break.
First the forwards won good ball on the right. The passing was crisp and Justin Dingley timed his pass to Jordan perfectly for Phil to go in at the corner. Dan Turner converted with a fine effort.
Then Peabody fielded the kick off and stormed up field. Dan made a great break but was held, however the Kesteven forwards won the ball and fed it out right for Whitaker to score for a worthy 15-7 half time lead.
Grimsby upped their game in the second half. Their forwards started to get on top and were asking questions of the home defence. Ks began to concede penaties and once too often for the referee who awarded Grimsby a penalty try when Miles stopped them in the act of scoring. He also suffered by being sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
Life got harder for Ks as shortly after Phil Jordan was sent off following an altercation with his opposite number. Despite being reduced to 13 players for a time, the Kesteven defence held out with some fine tackling. Pressure told eventually and Grimsby got their third try when their forwards powered over. The conversion failed.
At this time, Dingley and Whitaker both retired with injuries to be replaced by Cooper and Ward respectively, displaying the quality of the Kesteven squad. The final 15 minutes showed that Kesteven have great character as they never gave up.
Dan Turner, Cooper and Ward all had chances to turn the game round but just failed to finish them off. Grimsby also had chances but, though unable to add to their tally, they held out to win a tight match.
Kesteven: Dingley, Whitaker, N. Turner, D. Turner, P. Jordan, Lidstone, Wood, Odams, Hayward, Bennett, Miles, Cowley, Peabody, Woolerton, Brown. Reps: Pert, Cooper, Ward.
Melton Mowbray 6
A RATHER depleted Kesteven side travelled to Melton Mowbray for the last match before Christmas.
Kesteven started well, pushing Melton back towards their line, but desperate last-minute defence turned the ball over. The home team wasn’t able to capitalise before Kesteven stole the ball back, passing it quickly through several pair of hands before Bob Singer scored.
Melton were harried back from their restart until, deep in their own half, they dropped a ball that Kesteven scrum-half Jamie Bishop scooped up and crossed the line to double the lead with the last score of the half.
Winning a maul, winger Weir made a decent break, with a clean pass putting scrum-half Bishop clear – he then ran three-quarters of the length of the pitch for Kesteven’s third try.
After turning over the next restart, Weir was denied a try of his own as the referee ruled that he had received a forward pass. But when Melton took the scrum and dropped the ball behind their own try line, Bishop was there to touch it down.
Good scrapping by hooker Archie Lyle and fly-half Shennan won the ball, but he was penalised for handing off. Undeterred, he caught the Melton runner from the restart and Kesteven stole the ball from the maul, with scrum-half Bishop darting over for the visitors’ fifth score.
Melton then got off the mark. Kesteven’s restart made ground, only to be turned over and short of the line, and the home side ran in their second.
After kicking off again it looked as though Black Army were going to be turned over for a third time, until forward Solomon burst free from a midfield maul and covered half the pitch for Kesteven’s sixth. Melton scored a third before the final whistle.
A third “half” of play was added and Melton were first to score. Bob Singer’s try cancelled it out and Will Shennan extended Ks’ lead.
The home side spilt the ball behind the try line and Shennan swooped to touch it down. Melton replied with an easy try before Joe Solomon added another for Ks.
Melton went over once more and Kesteven scrum-half Bishop intercepted dived over for his fourth. Bishop found a gap and sprinted through for the final move of the game.
Kesteven: Singer, Lyle, Solomon, Bishop, Shennan, Morley, Shaw, Morris, Weir, Jago, Jinks.