Notts Pennant League
Notts Moderns 2nd 8
Kesteven 2nd 12
Kesteven travelled the short distance down the A52 to face Notts Moderns on Saturday in slightly damp conditions.
The rain began 20 minutes before kick-off and showed no sign of slowing any time soon.
Ks chose to receive the kick-off and started well with Leo Vincent taking a solid catch to set up the first attack. Ks played several nice phases and got the ball wide to Grinney who put a neat grubber kick in behind Moderns for Charles to chase. Despite the opening stages giving the game promise, it turned into a war of attrition in the middle of the park. Will Bacon and Tom Wood both tackled well.
Moderns forced themselves into a good attacking position and broke down the left hand side through their pacey winger. Justin Dingley was on hand however to make a superb covering tackle stopping a certain try. From the resulting ruck, Moderns were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, which they elected to kick, but the conditions got the better of the place kicker and the penalty was missed.
Moderns then chose to adopt a boot to ball approach but had not accounted for the excellent Dingley at full back who firstly showed great pace to skirt round the oncoming Moderns player, and then put in a lovely chip over the top to pin the Moderns back in their own 22. From the resulting lineout, a great drive by the forwards allowed Adam Draper to release the ball to Wood who jinked over for the first try.
Ks were now in the ascendancy and after further concerted pressure Frankie Davies outstretched one of his hands to dot the ball over for a second try. Dingley slotted the conversion.
Moderns eventually got on the scoresheet when they squeezed over in the corner for a try and a 12-5 half time scoreline.
The second half began much like the first had ended with Moderns putting significant pressure on Ks but the forwards, who worked tirelessly all afternoon in horrendous conditions, again fronted up and managed to win several scrums against the head. However, another offside penalty in front of the posts allowed Moderns the chance to close the gap to four points, which they duly did.
Kesteven then rallied and a serious of crunching tackles from Bacon lifted the team. Marcus Del Brocco then came on to make his senior debut and followed play well, making a couple of excellent tackles on the wing. Kesteven were also able to give game time to the Durham brothers in the front row who were making their Kesteven debuts, both acquitting themselves very well and will be a great asset to the club.
With minutes remaining, Draper made a lovely break from the base of a ruck, turning the Moderns full back inside out. Dingley supported well and looked destined to score the match-clinching try, but he dropped it. Moments later, the ref blew for full time to give Ks a well-deserved win going into a busy December schedule.
Kesteven: Dingley, Charles, Betts, Grinney, Hall, Wood, Draper, Bacon, Cole, Danford, Vincent, Hanson, Ward, Windsor, Davies, Durham, Durham, Del Brocco, Winfield, Mawby, Friel.