RUGBY: Kesteven’s stripped down seconds are undeterred

Dan Singer clings on to the ball. Photo: Toby Roberts
Dan Singer clings on to the ball. Photo: Toby Roberts
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Notts Pennant League

Kesteven 2nd 19

Newark 3rd 5

Kesteven were once again blighted with injuries and unavailability which left the team with a bare 15.

To add insult to injury Newark arrived with a squad of 22.

This did not deter Kesteven’s second string one bit and they were the ones who started the most spritely with excellent running from the forwards most notably Frankie Davies. This consistent pressure led to a penalty being awarded to Kesteven, and captain Rob Windsor opted for three points. Matt Grinney stepped up to see his effort go perilously close in the windy conditions, but the scores remained level.

A great team move then found the ball shipped out wide to Ian Charles who skipped past the first defender and did exceptionally well to remain in the field of play. Grinney passed the ball to Tom Wood who found a monumental gap in the Newark defence to breeze through for the first score under the posts. Grinney added the extra two points with ease.

Newark were not to be deterred and some hard running from their fly half saw him breach the first line of defence. With just one man to beat, the Newark player opted for a Lomu-like shunt, but undeterred by this Marcus Del Brocco stood his ground and managed to slow his man down sufficiently to allow Kai Winfield to complete the covering tackle.

However, with the ball trapped at the base of the ruck, the referee awarded Newark a scrum. Debutant Ross Plumber managed to steal the ball against the head and Kesteven cleared into touch to bring the half to a close.

The second half started well for Newark but strong tackling by Cooper and Will Wood in the midfield kept Newark at bay. However, pressure began to mount on Kesteven and an unwise box kick was charged down, allowing the Newark scrum half to scamper over for an unconverted try.

Ks managed to regroup and an excellent run from Will Wood from his own 22m line brought play into the Newark half for the first time. Tom Wood then put in a well judged cross-field kick which was well followed up by the Kesteven backs, resulting in a line-out on the Newark 22. From the line-out, Kesteven played some great phases and Tom Wood once again found a gap in the defence to go through several defenders and score his second under the posts. Grinney’s kick was good.

Kesteven then looked to close out the game. More strong running from Ward, Ross Plumber and Rob Windsor brought play close to the Newark line. The ball was shipped out wide to Cooper who made an excellent break and executed a perfectly timed pass to Newhouse, who powered over for Kesteven’s third try.

Ks then kept things tight for the remaining five minutes for a well deserved victory which sees them go into the Christmas break with five wins from seven games.

Newark showed great sportsmanship by lending a player after one of Kesteven’s was forced off with an injury, to keep the teams 15-a-side.

Kesteven: Mawby, Plumber, Ward, Davies, Singer, Windsor (c), Newhouse, Durham, Grinney, T. Wood, W. Wood, Cooper, Del Brocco, Winfield, Charles.