RUGBY: Kesteven triumph in vital match against Melbourne

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Midlands League 2

East (North)

Kesteven 31

Melbourne 21

Kesteven fielded a strong line up for the vital match against Melbourne which doubled up as a crucial league fixture and semi-final of the Notts, Lincs and Derbys Shield.

Ks kicked off and were soon putting the visiting pack under pressure. They conceded the first penalty after just three minutes but Parker’s kick went just wide. Play continued in the Melbourne half with Kesteven keeping the ball, but unable to make the breakthrough.

After 15 minutes, a loose pass in midfield was intercepted by Melbourne’s centre. He did not have the legs to finish the move but the support was there to carry it on and finish with a score wide out. The conversion was good and Melbourne had the lead.

Kesteven returned to play mostly in the Melbourne half and were rewarded when Will Cann slotted a penalty comfortably after 25 minutes.

Melbourne gained some territory from the restart. They had a penalty which was missed but they were able to force the home side into desperate defence.

After conceding a couple of quick penalties close to the line, Rob Cann was sent to the sin bin. Melbourne used their numerical advantage by taking a scrum instead of a kick and their scrum half sneaked over for a try which was converted to open up a 14-3 lead at the interval.

After the break, Melbourne put a penalty into the corner and soon added their third try, also converted, to extend their lead by a further seven points.

Kesteven suddenly they found some space for their quick men. Whitaker was on hand to take a pass from Parker and raced behind the posts for the opening try. Galloway kicked the conversion.

The strong running of Danny Turner caused the visitors problems and he was victim of a high tackle, which saw the Melbourne player sent to the sin bin. This time Ks saw their chance and Will Young and Aaron Whitaker scored two quickfire tries, both converted by Galloway, to take the lead.

With their tails now up, Kesteven went for the killer punch. Goodrich made a fine break up the middle and Galloway was up in support to score the final try which earned the all important bonus point, followed by another successful conversion attempt.

Ks face Melton Mowbray this week and a win may still keep them in this league. Following that is the final of the NLD Shield against Newark at Matlock on April 26.

Kesteven: Whitaker, Young, Goodrich, W. Cann, Taylor, Parker, Draper, Odams, Hayward, Cowley, Pert, Sheardown, R. Cann, Woolerton (MoM), Sayle. Reps: Turner, Webster, Galloway.