RUGBY: Injury-plagued Kesteven suffer the consequences

Action from Kesteven's game against Melbourne at Woodnook on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts

Action from Kesteven's game against Melbourne at Woodnook on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts

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Midlands League 2

East (North)

Kesteven 8

Melbourne 39

Kesteven were still hampered by their growing injury list as they took the field against league leaders Melbourne.

Ken Lines withdrew at the last minute as a back injury had not responded to treatment which led to a late reshuffle and saw Callum Scuffham step out of the pack to take his place on the wing.

Despite this, Kesteven started brightly with their pack gaining the ascendancy. Ollie Hughes looked lively in the centre and it took some strong tackling to keep him out.

Melbourne took time to get into the match but after 20 minutes they opened the scoring. Kesteven kicked out of their 22 and Melbourne were able to run the ball back and create a scoring chance for a try out wide.

The conversion failed but Melbourne opened the Ks defence a second time 10 minutes later to increase the lead with a try at the posts. This time the conversion was successful.

Kesteven were able to raise their game with Pirie and Peabody in the lead. Just on half time they won a penalty on the Melbourne 22 and Galloway kicked the goal with the last kick of the half to narrow the gap to 12-3.

Kesteven needed a good start to the second half but were undone right from the kick-off. They failed to clear their lines and Melbourne were up quickly to charge down the clearance and score.

While the home team were gathering themselves, Melbourne struck again with a breakaway try which was converted.

Ks didn’t give up and had some good territory but it was the visitors who added to their tally after 20 minutes with a further unconverted try.

Kesteven were forced into a change as Charlie Pirie had to leave the field for attention. Mark Sayle came on and quickly got into the play. Ks at last moved into a promising position. Galloway darted through close to the line and Purvis was on hand to force the ball over the line with assistance from Sayle. This was much deserved.

The lack of reserves made it difficult for the home side and Melbourne were able to finish the game strongly with two more unconverted tries in the last few minutes to run out winners.

Kesteven: Dingley, Scuffham, Hughes, Charles, Cox, Galloway, Wood, Ward, Sheardown, Purvis, Vincent, Pert, Armstrong, Pirie, Peabody. Reps: Sayle, Webster.