Kesteven were forced to ring the changes in their back division for the visit of Belper to Woodnook.
Midlands League 3
The strength of the squad is such that they were able to bring in experienced replacements like Simon Morgan, and Rupert Jordan while Brad Jepson made his debut off the bench.
Belper put in a performance which belied their lowly position in the league. They had most of the early possession which meant that Kesteven were forced to live off scraps, finding it difficult to get into the game.
And Belper were first on the scoresheet with a penalty after seven minutes. It took 20 minutes for Kesteven to register. A bit of pressure by the home side caused Belper to concede penalties. From one such award, Parker kicked to the corner. The line ball was secured and from a maul Simon Morgan expertly found Turner who went over in the corner.
Kesteven gradually gained some control and built a bit of pressure, but still found it hard to break the Belper defence. Odams came close when he was tackled into touch. On the stroke of half time, Belper conceded a further penalty and Tom Webster took a quick tap and forced his way over from 15 metres. Harland’s conversion made the half time score 12-3.
Belper kicked off in the second half and won the ball from the restart. They set up camp in the home 22 but defiant defence kept them out.
Turner led the break out from his own line to relieve the pressure and he was rewarded with the next try. Belper won the ball from a ruck in their own 22, but Turner was up at speed to charge down the clearing kick and touch down. This settled the home team and they got on top.
After the restart kick, Morgan fed left from a scrum to Harland who set off on a fine angled run which took him to the line. He passed to the supporting Scott Odams who scored the bonus point try. Harland added the conversion.
Then skipper Phil Jordan made a clean break to the line. He was stopped just short but Turner was up in support to gather and put Durrance in for the try. Harland converted again to make the game safe.
Belper did not give up and were rewarded for another period of forward dominance with a pushover try. The conversion failed and with the score at 31-8 it was left to Kesteven to wrap up the proceedings with a couple of late tries.
First, Parker enjoyed a good break to put Turner in for his hat trick try, which Harland converted, before Webster came up at pace in support of Hughes to score with the final move of the game.
Kesteven: Harland, R. Jordan, P. Jordan, Whittaker, Parker, Morgan, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Flear, Turner, Webster. Reps: Durrance, Carew, Jepson.
Welland Barbarians 24
Kesteven were battered early on and conceded two converted tries in the first quarter of an hour. Two more tries left Ks trailing 24-0 at half time.
Ks regrouped for the second half and quickly went on the offensive. It was only a matter of time before they scored. An excellent attack by the forwards left the Welland defence totally out of shape. The ball was fed to Roy Wyatt who rounded three defenders and ran 30m for the touchdown.
Ks frustrated Barbarians further and scored a second try when the ball was shipped out to Kavan Haggan who ran 40m through the visitors’ defence to touch down just before the final whistle.
Kesteven: Campbell, Morrison, Key, Knott, Stewart, Hands, Haggan, Rowland, DelBrocco, Coyle, Henderson, Minter, Wyatt, Kear, Woolward, Mallinson, Mawer, Miles, Gaire, Jakes.
Nottingham Moderns 17
Kesteven just lost out in their second NLD Shield match of the year and went behind early on to a converted try.
Ks replied with a Kai Winfield try after a scrum led to good passing between the backs.
Nottingham scored a second try after the break but after a much better restart, Dylan Birkby caught the ball and ran 20m to touch down for 12-10.
Poor play led to Moderns extending their slender lead to 17-10 after a scrum near Kesteven’s try line.
But Kesteven kept the pressure on and were rewarded when from another scrum, man-of-the-match Josh Udom battled through the Moderns’ forwards to score an heroic try. Jack Rogerson’s conversion brought the scores to within two points.
Kesteven: McLoughlin (c), Addlesee, Birkby, Priest, Haggo, Warden, Radford, Carter, Windsor, Pashley, Rogerson, Udom, Winfield, Cann, Wheeler, Ward.