NLD Under-14 Shield
In their first home match of the season, Kesteven hosted Ashbourne in their third NLD Shield match.
Still playing with only a 15 man squad, Kesteven got off to a strong start, putting pressure on Ashbourne in the scrum. Skipper Joe McLouglin performed admirably as Hooker, winning Kesteven ball.
After three Kesteven scrums won, Ashbourne came away from the fourth with a try, run in from Ks’ 22m line. After the restart, powerful tackling from Bill Addlesee and Alex Wheeler halted Ashbourne fleetingly, but a strong run from their very large forwards saw another try against Kesteven.
Kai Winfield took the game to Ashbourne with a powerful run into their 22, after great hands down the line from Windsor to Rogerson and Udom. Ashbourne retook the ball but Dylan Birkby tackled well and Kesteven had the put-in at the scrum after a penalty against Ashbourne. Radford picked up the ball from the back of the scrum and made 5m, before Ashbourne defence brought him to a halt.
A lost Kesteven line-out saw Ashbourne run in another try before half time, to leave the score 15-0 to the visitors.
With no substitutes to call on, Kesteven started the second half with more confident play. The gain line was broken from a strong scrum, but in the subsequent play the ball was lost to Ashbourne.
Kesteven defended well but Ashbourne’s number eight galloped to the line and could not be stopped. Five replacements available to Ashbourne were used, giving the opposition some fresh legs.
Kesteven became a little disorganised after losing another try, despite very strong tackling from Alex Wheeler, Jack Ward and Dylan Birkby. Credit also went to Ollie Cann for good defence on the wing.
Ashbourne got in their stride and the score rose to 41-0. More strong play in the scrum from Priest, Haggo, Warden and Carter got Kesteven moving forward, with Dylan Birkby breaking away, only to be forcefully stopped by Ashbourne. His resulting injury brought the game to an untimely end, after his brave forward move.
Full back Alex Wheeler was deservedly given man of the match for strong tackling and quick running into the Ashbourne defence, with Dylan Birkby also putting in a mature performance.
Kesteven: Joe McLoughlin, Alex Wheeler, Dylan Birkby, Tom Priest, Jack Rogerson, Kai Winfield, Jay Radford, Bill Addlesee, Josh Udom, Jack Ward, Joe Haggo, Chris Warden, Silas Windsor, Ollie Cann, Tom Carter.
Melton Mowbray 5
Melton Mowbray provided stiff opposition for Kesteven on Sunday.
Despite losing a number of players to injury, Kesteven were able to field a strong side against a very competitive and mobile Melton team.
Melton started very well and scored the first try of the match with Ks missing crucial tackles. Kesteven continued to work hard with Oliver Jakes tackling well and Dan Brenton and Devlin Archer constantly taking on the visitors in open play.
Some fine forward play in the second half brought the scores even at half time, with Dan Brenton taking his opportunity well. Hard tackling in the centres from Ewan Clark and Finley Moth disrupted Melton’s back play. Kesteven’s back row’s constant sniping from the base of the rucks saw the tide gradually start to turn in the home side’s favour.
The second half saw much more controlled play and number eight Harry Bartlett continued to carry hard into the Melton forwards, scoring early in the half to allow Kesteven to take control.
A further back row score from flanker Hughes towards the end ensured a good morning for the squad and the spectators.
Kesteven: Devlin Archer, Harry Bartlett (1 try), Dan Brenton (1), Will Brewis, Ewan Clark, Ben Cole, James Cole, James Del-Brocco, Tom Edwards, Harvey Fuller, Davy Hodgson, Jake Hughes, Oliver Jakes, George Lodge, Finley Moth, Jack Palin, Josh Peters, Patrick Sheard, Zac Spriggs, Adam Tapson, Toby Tapson, George Wainwright, Freddie Young.
West Bridgford 21
Kesteven came away with a superb victory to take them into the Christmas break after an all-round team performance.
Over two games, Ks played some outstanding rugby and coupled this with a strong defence. James Simpson, in only his third game, had the highest tackle count of the backs, stopping anything that came his way.
Henry Woods scored his first try for Ks, taking a great pass from Jake Wright who scored a hat trick himself.
The forwards were strong all morning with Jake Eagle, Sam Desmond and Chester Shelbourne standing out from a really strong display by the pack.
The result boosted the teams’ confidence going into Christmas, with plenty to look forward to in 2013.
Try scorers were: Henry Wood (1), Jake Eagle (1), Ethan Archer (2), Ben Whinney (1), Jake Wright (3) and Daniel Moore (1). All tries converted by Ben Whinney.