Midlands League 2
Kesteven were unable to muster up any points away at Ashbourne and came home instead with a lot of dirty laundry.
Kick-off was delayed due to a passing electrical hail storm but once this eased, play commenced. Kesteven kicked off and Ashbourne immediately ran the ball straight back.
With so much rain, wind, cold and mud, the day was going to be a messy affair but it took the home side just three minutes to run in their first try, having put together several phases in the forwards and managing to find enough space to break through tackles. The conversion attempt bounced off the posts.
Kesteven fought hard for the next 30 minutes, with play confined in the middle of the field which was slowly turning into a mud bath. Some confusion as to whose side each player was on sent a few passes a bit wild, and even the referee had difficulty distinguishing who was who.
Both sides exchanged some decent attacking runs but it was Ashbourne that found their way home for a second try after 34 minutes, with the conversion kick once again going awry.
The second half saw Ashbourne manage to turn a ball over in a ruck and canter in for their third try after just three minutes, with the conversion attempt once again rebounding from the posts.
An aerial battle ensued and Kesteven were caught out on their 22. The ball was turned over in a ruck and the Ashbourne player was able to sneak in for his side’s fourth try of the match, securing them the bonus point. This time the kick was good.
Kesteven’s best chance of adding some points to the board came when Ashbourne were finally penalised for handling in the ruck and Mark Broom, who had been responsible for two of Ashbourne’s tries, was sent to the bin with nine minutes of the match remaining.
Kesteven set up camp in Ashbourne’s 22 but despite numerous attempts and some strong running from James Goodrich, the visitors were held just short and were unable to slide over the Ashbourne line.
Man of the match went to Rob Sheardown for his gutsy performance, crunching tackles and solid play.
Kesteven: Odams, Sheardown, Cowley, Carew, Webster (Pert, 71), Sayle Jnr, Woolerton (Peabody, 60), Turner, Harland, O’Brien, Ingram (Price, 43), Goodrich, Templeton, Jordan, Whitaker.
Notts Pennant League
West Bridgford 2nd 38
Kesteven 2nd 0
This match was transferred to Mellish RFC, because the ground at West Bridgford was unplayable and the sun was shining as the teams took to the field for the top-of-the-table clash.
Dark clouds loomed and the rain came shortly after kick-off. West Bridgford were soon on the attack and were looking to run the ball at every opportunity.
The first try came as early as eight minutes in with just such a run. The conversion was good. This was followed up by two more quickfire tries as the home side looked to make use of every bit of possession that came their way.
Kesteven were just about getting to grips with the game when they forced a five metre scrum. Before this could take place the heavens opened with a thunderstorm accompanied by stinging hailstones. The referee took the only option open to him by suspending the game till the storm blew over.
After a 20 minute break the game resumed but Kesteven were not able to build any play. West Bridgford added a further try to go into the break 24-0 up.
A rousing team talk by former skipper Nick Clarke laid a firm challenge before the Kesteven team and they responded with some more spirited play.
Makwanna went closest to scoring as he forced his way to the try line but the ball, now like a bar of soap, slipped from his grasp. West Bridgford added two more tries in the second half, both of which were converted.
Kesteven: Young, Charles, J. Hughes, Betts, Windsor, Makwanna, Morgan, P. Dolan, Login, Paton, Coghill, Hanson, J. Smith, R. Dolan, Hayward. Reps: Clarke, Cunningham, Flear.
Lincs Merit League
Bourne 2nd 7
Kesteven 3rd 7
With Bourne mixing in a number of subs and some first team players, it was always going to be a close affair, battled out in a mud bath.
The new front row of O’Hara, Emery and Black battered the opposing pack time and again as the ball was pushed up and down the pitch. A lucky break from a Bourne centre ended with a score down and a conversion to follow.
Although unable to reply with a score of their own before half time, Kesteven did not roll over.
After another dominant scrum, number nine Ian McAlistair found a gap through the forwards and after a side-step around a back, planted one under the posts. Fly half Steve Smith duly converted to bring the scores level.
Lightning, rain and then giant hail stones rained down and the referee called time 10 minutes early as players and supporters dived for cover.
Kesteven: O’Hara, Black, Emery, Marvin, Minter, Smith, Cheetham, Justin (Wombat), McAlistair, Smith, Anderson, Orme, Vincent, North.
Under-17 Lincs Cup
Kesteven v Spalding
(Kesteven won, game conceded)
With all of the mini and junior matches cancelled due to the appalling weather, a brave crew of Kesteven under-17s took to the sodden turf of Woodnook to face Spalding.
The game kicked off in driving rain and wind and it was not long before the weather got the better of the visitors from and they decided to abandon the game 20 minutes into the first half, conceding to undefeated Kesteven.
Kesteven now await news of their opponents in the semi-final which will take place on February 23.
Kesteven under-17s have enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history for the age group, having already reached the NLD Cup semi-finals, they are also hoping to progress to the Midlands and National cup competitions too.