Midlands League 2
Kesteven were looking for a strong performance after their good showing against Spalding two weeks ago.
They had to shuffle the side again but were pleased to welcome Olly Wood and Tony Woolerton back into the side.
Ashbourne turned out to be a tough nut to crack but early exchanges proved to be close.
The visitors broke the deadlock after 20 minutes with a good try. This was followed by a second on the half hour. Both were converted.
Kesteven kept working hard to get into the game and were rewarded with a penalty just on half time, scored by Olly Wood.
Kesteven turned round full of hope that they would recover the deficit. They had most of the play but the vital score just would not come. Olly Wood had a difficult penalty chance midway through the half but just failed.
Ashbourne defended strongly and sometimes desperately, resulting in them having two players in the sin bin late in the half, but even against 13 men Kesteven could not get through.
Tony Woolerton took a knock and was replaced briefly by Harry Cox. Oli Hughes had a great game in defence but it was a disappointing result for Ks who now face a trip to Coalville on Saturday
Kesteven: Whittaker, Windsor, Goodrich, Wood, Hughes, Dingley, Draper, Sayle, Sheardown, Purvis, Cowley, Pert, Armstrong, Woolerton, Turner. Reps: Cox, Webster, Parker.
Kesteven 2nd 52
West Bridgford 3rd 26
Kesteven 2nd XV took the field against West Bridgford looking to put last week’s disappointment behind them.
The team got off to a good start with the pack getting in some early dominance. They set up a maul near the visitors’ line and rolled over in style for the opening try. Nick Mawby looked to have got the touchdown.
Both teams were keen to play open rugby and the visitors were next to score when the ball was worked out to the wing in space. He had a clear run in to touch down behind the posts. The conversion briefly gave them the lead.
Kesteven responded with two quickfire tries. First, Ed Cole broke away in midfield to score at the posts, then from the restart Robinson led a further charge upfield. Although the run was stopped, a maul formed and Martyn Parker looked up and saw a gap open up for him to sneak in for a try. He converted both.
Just before the end of the half, Cole took charge of a tap penalty to go in for his second try. Parker’s conversion made the half time score 26-7.
Justin Dingley and Dave Davies came on at half time and Mawby swapped sides to help out West Bridgford who had lost a player to injury. The match opened up with the players making fewer mistakes.
Kesteven soon added to their score. Parker repeated his earlier move and took advantage of another inviting gap to score. Then, Ben Bett’s finished off a move which owed a lot to a clever switch of play by Davies. Parker converted both to open up a clear lead.
West Bridgford continued to play some good rugby and were rewarded with two tries, before Parker restored the Kesteven advantage with his third try.
West Bridgford added a fourth converted try before the home full back finished off a good three-quarter move with a fine try. Parker added the conversion to seal victory.
The Kesteven Colts are growing in maturity and made a good contribution to the game. Brighten at scrum half linked well with Parker, while Chris Warden made a welcome return from injury. In the pack, Cole gave a powerful display, whilst Robinson and Hodgson worked hard.
This week the Ks 2nd travel to Paviors to fulfil a postponed Notts Pennant League match.
Kesteven: Tapson, Warden, Betts, Charles, Parker, Brighten, Ward, Cole, Mawby, Robinson, Radford, Hodgson, Kawsau, Fuller, Dingley, Davies.