Midlands League 2
Bakewell Mannerians 0
Kesteven bounced back with a home win and had first use of the wind at Woodnook, but 20 minutes elapsed before they were able to get a foothold in the Bakewell half.
The Kesteven pack did get play into the visitors’ 22 and won a penalty after 30 minutes. Will Cann popped over the kick to give Ks a 3-0 lead.
Kesteven turned round to face the wind with some trepidation – but were inspired in the second half. Rob Cann replaced Doug Hayward and veteran Graham Smith came on for Will Pert as coach Mark Sayle freshened things up.
The forwards played the possession game very well and were well supported by the strong running by Goodrich and Templeton.
One long kick from Bakewell, deep inside their half, ran dead and resulted in a scrum to Kesteven some 40 metres out. The home team won the ball and Will Cann ran it out to the left and Whittaker took the pass in the clear with only the full back to beat. It was no contest, and the young full back danced around his opponent to score in the corner, sealing an important victory.
Ks remain near the foot of the table but all in all, it was a great, confidence-boosting win in very difficult playing conditions.
Kesteven: Sheardown, Hayward, Cowley, Pert, Carew, Woolerton (c), Sayle Jnr, Turner, Wood, W. Cann, Ingram, Templeton, Goodrich, P. Jordan, Whittaker. Reps: Odams, R. Cann, G. Smith.
Notts Pennant League
Notts Moderns 2nd 26
Kesteven 2nd 27
Kesteven started brightly and were straight on the attack. While the back row of Friel and Midgley made the early breaks, testing the Moderns tackling, it was youngster Will Young who was first on the scoresheet.
With an overlap, Young stepped off his right foot to catch the covering defenders off-guard and easily beat one last ditch tackle to score a good try. Andy Price kicked the conversion.
Moderns were spurred on by Kesteven going down to 13 men and eventually managed to work themselves over for a try which was converted well in the tough wind.
With Cooper back on the pitch from inury, Ks worked themselves into Moderns’ 22 and forced a penalty duly converted by Price.
Moderns fought back and, although Young returned from the sin bin for Ks, the home side managed to work another score before the end of the first half to go in leading 14-10.
Wing Charles ran a dummy line in midfield and the ball was worked wide to Cooper. When he was held up short, Jake Hughes took the pass and worked his way to the posts for the try. Price’s kick was good.
Moderns were penalised by the referee when they were on the attack, giving Midgley the opportunity to tap and go, running through half the Moderns team before being stopped on the 22. Brett Login was on hand to keep the ball moving, and yet again Hughes was up in support to take the scoring pass.
Moderns spilled from the restart and Young took the ball on. Just as he was shaping for a kick, the referee shouted the advantage was over and the Moderns second row charged down and had the legs to complete the score against the run of play.
Again Ks came straight back. A a long hopeful kick was again followed up by Hughes, who somehow found himself in the clear to complete his hat trick in the corner.
Moderns scored a final try under the posts right at the death as Ks clung on to a good bonus-point victory.
Kesteven: Paton, Login, P. Dolan, Clarke, R. Dolan, Flear, Friel, Midgley, Addlesee, A. Price, Windsor, Cooper, Hughes, Betts, Young. Reps: Vincent, Charles.
Bourne Colts 0
Kesteven progressed to the semi-finals and opened the scoring line with Tank diving on a loose ball from the five yard line and running in a try.
The next try came not long after. Sammy stole the scrum against the head and swift hands through the backs to leave Taylor with some ground to make but options on both shoulders
Kesteven played into the wind in the second half, culling any kicking option and forcing the team to run every ball.
Camped in their own 22, Phill Fletcher attempted to clear his lines but the wind got the better of the kick and Dan Fay found himself under the bouncing ball.
Some silky hands between Dan Singer and Fay saw the Black Army fight their way back up the pitch.
From then on, it was a one-sided affair with Kesteven exploiting many holes in the Bourne defence.
Facing uphill and against high winds, Kesteven went behind when Scunthorpe managed to win a scrum, kept possession and injected pace into wide space, which resulted in a great opportunist try.
With the advantage of the wind in the second half, Brewis found his special kicking boots to gain crucial accurate space. Palin and Rogerson linked up well to capitalise on some poor handling from Scunthorpe, ending in a try by Palin.
Scunthorpe replied almost immediately, securing possession and scoring their second try with some strong finishing. This was closely followed after the re-start by a mirror image score as Scunthorpe again gained possession and ran it back for a third try.
But Ks were not done. Good linking work led to a successful maul which resulted in the power of Fuller touching down Kesteven’s second try.
With one score in it and a minute to play, James Cole leapt like a gazelle to steal Scunthorpe’s line-out, allowing Curtis Taylor to level the score with the final play of the game.
With an opportunity to steal the victory at the end, Adam Tapson’s kick went agonisingly close in the strong winds which spoiled all six of the match’s conversion attempts.
Kesteven: J. Cole, T. Tapson, Hodgson, Fuller, Hughes, Taylor, Cox, Kwasai, Brighten, Brewis, Brenton, Moth, Bartlett, Palin, A. Tapson, Rogerson, B. Cole
Kesteven lost the toss and Southwell opted to play with the wind in the first half.
Ks soon found the only way to play into the wind was to make the hard yards forward by running the ball. This basic but effective approach eventually ended with Sam Desmond powering over for an opening try.
Pirie then broke from a scrum on halfway to score a second which Whinney converted. Another strong forward effort ended with Chester Shelbourn crashing over, and Pirie ended the half with his second to make the half time score 22-0.
Ks did not use the wind to their best advantage in the second half and allowed Southwell back into the game. First they scored by creating an overlap out wide, and then again used good hands to squeeze over in the opposite corner.
Ks responded Pirie used his size and power to score two further tries, both of which were converted.
Kesteven: Addlesee, Archer, Bacon, Cant, Cousin, Desmond, Eagle, Green, Kershaw, Knibbs, Lee, Norsworthy, Pirie, Shelbourn, Sweeney, Thomas, Whinney.
Sleaford 5 Kesteven 0
Sleaford 15 Kesteven 5
Kesteven put in some good tackles in their first match, through Geordie I. and Daniel K., but it was not enough to prevent the only try of the game just before half time.
The second match went much the same way, but a good try from Geordie I. kept Ks in the running.
Player of the match went to Jack Edwards.
Sleaford 5 Kesteven 4
Sleaford 6 Kesteven 6
Sleaford 3 Kesteven 5
Sleaford 4 Kesteven 5
Twenty Kesteven players reported for duty at Sleaford, but with the home side only able to field a small squad, fast short games were the order of the day which ensured all Ks players were rotated for match time.
A good day was had with Kesteven coming out on top overall after suffering defeat in the first game.
Notable from a good all round team performance were from Josh, for some good head-on contact driving to the line, Reece with some low, hard tackles, Cameron Muir with fast feet and taking contact well, and Rory for a ripping end-to-end try.
Kesteven under-9s now move into a phase of three weeks training at Woodnook on Sundays.