Midlands League 2
Notts Casuals 9
Woodnook was bathed in winter sunshine as the teams took to the field for this vital match between two teams at the wrong end of the table.
Kesteven welcomed newcomer Henry Mawhood for his debut in the front row whilst, home from university, Ed Bloodworth added strength to the second row of the pack.
The home team were keen to make a good impression early on. Chris Galloway got good territory and Danny Turner looked to have scored but he was pulled back for a double movement.
Casuals’ clearing kick from the penalty did not find touch and Whittaker gathered the ball on halfway to run in a great try without any defender getting near him, opening up a five point lead after five minutes.
Kesteven kept up the pressure with some fine storming runs from Purvis, Cowley and Turner. One such charge from Turner took play up to the line and, when he was stopped, Bloodworth was on hand to take the pass and score. Galloway again failed with the conversion but Ks were comfortable at 10-0.
The pattern continued as Whittaker was again put clear. As the cover defence closed in, the full back put in a delightful cross kick to the line where Dingley was up to collect and score. Galloway converted to take the lead up to 17 points.
Dingley left the field after a knock and he was replaced by Windsor. Casuals had not really been in the game but as the half came to an end, they got a break. They were attacking and when Lines made the tackle he was judged to have killed the ball and he was sent to the sin bin. Casuals converted the penalty to make the half time score 17-3.
The second half started with Kesteven keen to get the vital bonus point. Dingley returned to the fray. There were several strong runs from Turner and Bloodworth. but the handling wasn’t perfect so chances were created and lost.
Jack Stokes had a fine run which took play up to the visitors’ 22 and created the chance for the bonus point try. which was earned after 15 minutes of the half. Ben Addlesee picked up at the base of a ruck 30 metres out and ran strongly for the line to score.
The team relaxed a little and Casuals added a second penalty.
But straight from the kick-off, Kesteven added a fifth try. Galloway, who had varied his play very well, placed an exquisite grubber kick behind the defence for Tom Miles to follow up. He was able to scoop the ball and go over for the try.
Bloodworth came off to be replaced by Pert, and Woolerton was replaced by Windsor.
There was a feeling of a job well done by the home team and the pace of play slowed. Casuals added a third penalty but it was too little too late.
This was a fine performance by Kesteven, and James Cowley was chosen as man of the match for an outstanding display of power play.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Lines, Miles, Dingley, Cox, Galloway, Addlesee, Mawhood, Sheardown, Purvis, Bloodworth, Cowley, Woolerton, Stokes, Turner. Reps: Pert, Windsor, Webster.