Midlands League 2
Notts Casuals 16
With a number of first XV absentees, Kesteven fielded a number of second string players to form a makeshift back line.
Much of the first half was played in the midfield with both sides finding their feet on a very narrow pitch. Kesteven made a few breaks with Ingram on the wing and Turner in the centres, but Casuals defended their lines well.
Ks soon found themselves 3-0 down in the 16th minute following a penalty as a result of some confusion within the back line, resulting in a knock-on on the Ks’ 22m line.
Kesteven were again penalised five minutes later for holding on to the ball in a ruck but fortunately Casuals were not successful with the penalty. There was some relief on the half hour mark when Ks were awarded a penalty for a handling infringement and Dan Turner slotted the kick to settle nerves.
A reshuffled Kesteven soon found their feet in the second half. The fine working partnership of Doug Hayward and Dan Turner released Ollie Wood, who cut through the Casuals defence and touched down for a try on the 15m line after 48 minutes of play. The ever reliable boot of Matt Harland took the score to 10-3 in Kesteven’s favour.
Ks had the chance to increase the lead 10 minutes later with a Harland penalty kick, following a dangerous tackle on Ollie Hughes, but his effort narrowly missed.
Casuals reduced the deficit to 10-6 when Kesteven were penalised for putting hands into the ruck within kicking distance of the posts.
The Notts side took full advantage of Ks’ depleted defensive line and ran in two unconverted tries in the last 10 minutes.
Man of the match was James Cowley.
Kesteven: Odams, Hayward, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Webster (c), Lines, Carew, Wood, Martin, O. Hughes, Jordan, Turner, Ingram, Taylor. Reps: Hanson, Harland, Betts
Notts Pennant League
Kesteven 2nd 60
Notts Casuals 2nd 5
Kesteven fielded a much changed team and the first kick-off failed to go 10 metres, giving the heavier Casuals pack the chance to impose themselves on the home side.
Notts set up camp in the home half but were unable to create chances as the Kesteven defence held out.
Sean Templeton led the charge for Ks and a couple of storming runs took play deep into the Casuals half. Danny Williams was soon in action and he took play close to the Casuals line where desperate defence led to a penalty award which Andy Price converted.
Kesteven continued to settle into the game and soon added to their tally. Mark Dent looked lively at fly half and a fine weaving run took him clean through to score at the posts. Price converted.
The remaining fifteen minutes of the half saw Kesteven take control as Williams sped in, then Jordan Hughes and Rob Windsor added tries to secure the bonus point before the break. Price converted two to take the score to 29-0.
The second half started in the same vein with Williams fielding a clearance kick on the touchline to weave his way up field. The move ended with a try in the far corner by Ash.
The Kesteven pack were now well on top, led by the experienced from row of Dolan, Login and Paton, while Coghill had some storming runs. Jordan Smith was next on the scoresheet with a try before Casuals roused themselves with a try of their own.
The Kesteven response was emphatic. The restart was deep into the Casuals 22 and pressure from the Kesteven tacklers turned the ball over for Brown to finish the move with a try. Casuals’ restart kick was caught by Bide who ran through from deep in his own half. He sold a sublime dummy on halfway to clear the last defenders and race in under the bar. Price converted both.
Casuals were now a beaten side and it was no surprise when Kesteven brought the game to an end with a final try. Smith was prominent in the lead-up and Paton was on hand to take the pass and beat the last three defenders with a shimmy and twist to dot the ball down. Morgan added the goal points.
Kesteven: Windsor, Cunningham, Templeton, Corradine, Dent, Morgan, P. Dolan, Login, Paton, Ash, Coghill, Flear, J. Hughes, Smith. Reps: Cocks, Brown, Williams, Bide.
Melton Mowbray 0
Kesteven’s first score came when a quick tap penalty was given to Pirie who charged through to score.
Some good handling from Archer put James Simpson away for a try and Ks added four more before half time through Moore (2) and Pirie (2).
Kesteven made a number of changes at half time and took a while to settle back into the game. A great turnover from Jake Eagle allowed Ks to counter-attack and Ethan Archer sprinted clear to score. Danny Moore completed his hat trick and Ben Whinney scored a good counter-attacking try from full back, as well as converting eight of the 10 scores.
The final try was the pick of the morning with some great passing and off-loading resulting in Charlie Thomas scoring under the posts.
Kesteven: Archer, Bacon, Cant, Casey, Desmond, Donnelly, Eagle, Green, Kershaw, Lee, Lewicki, Moore, Norsworthy, Parker, Pirie, Scott, Shelbourn, Simpson, Sweeney, Thomas, Whinney, Wright.