RUGBY: Kesteven second string win by narrowest of margins

Action from Kesteven second strings's victory at Woodnook on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts

Action from Kesteven second strings's victory at Woodnook on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts

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Notts Pennant League

Group 2

Kesteven 2nd 36

West Bridgford 3rd 35

With both sides shorthanded, play was open and allowed more space for the runners.

Kesteven were first to take advantage as Richard Midgely showed his usual style of direct running to go in for the opening try after five minutes. He repeated the dose a couple of minutes later with another run from half way. Chris Roughan converted both to open up a 14-point lead.

The visitors contributed to the running rugby and quickly ran in their first try which was converted, before Ben Betts got possession out on the wing and was able to race in behind the posts to give Roughan an easy conversion.

Shortly after Midgely completed his hat trick with another typical run. This time the conversion failed but Ks had a healthy 26-7 lead.

After the changeover, West Bridgford started to come together and added a couple of tries engineered by their lively scrum half to narrow the deficit to 26-21.

Just as it seemed the visitors would catch up, Betts broke away to score his second try to extend the lead again.

The game was now free flowing, end to end, and West Bridgford added their bonus point try. The conversion narrowed the gap to three points.

Rupert Jordan, who had only gone to the match to spectate, then joined in and scored a final and decisive try with a long arcing run to extend the lead to 36-28 with five minutes remaining.

West Bridgford scored a fifth try and the conversion narrowed the gap to 36-35 and although the visitors worked hard for the winner, they just ran out of time.

This was a great advert for the spirit of rugby with both sides co-operating well to ensure that the teams had even numbers throughout the game. The game was very well managed by the referee who allowed the players to express themselves.

For Kesteven, Chris Warden played in the unfamiliar role of scrum half and was always in the game, while Betts and Midgely took their tries well. It was also great to see the young players coming through with Callum Scuffham showing good energy.

Kesteven: Ward, Mawby, Cheetham, Warden, Scuffham, Hall, Roughan, Betts, Midgely, Sisson, R. Jordan.

Midlands League 2

East (North)

West Bridgford 57

Kesteven 14

It was a grey afternoon that greeted Kesteven on their arrival at West Bridgford, with a changed team due to unavailabilities still restricting their potential.

The first 10 minutes were positive with Kesteven’s aggressive defence, strong kicking game and scrum yielding the visitors good field position. Charlie Pirie came off with an injury to his neck when competing for a ball in a ruck.

Slowly, Bridgford started to find holes across the pitch, with their support runners working very effectively. A painful 15 minutes followed in which the home team scored a stream of tries with every increasing momentum.

With 10 minutes left in the first half, Kesteven finally managed to get a grip on the game, holding Bridgford back and managing to get across the try line themselves with impressive ball carrying from the away team’s man of the match, Leo Vincent. Galloway converted.

The second half again started strongly for Kesteven, with both teams being relatively evenly matched.

Kesteven scored a try from close range through Aaron Whittaker after a strong break by James Goodrich. Galloway again added the goal points.

But West Bridgford’s attack was relentless and they took all of their chances in the second half to finish with a well-deserved and impressive victory.

Kesteven: Dingley, Whittaker, Goodrich, Cann, P. Jordan, Galloway, Wood, Sheardown, Morrissey, Purvis, Vincent, Tweddle, Armstrong, Butler, Pirie. Reps: Pert, Parker, Cox.