Midlands League 3
Kesteven took the field looking to continue their run of success against a strong Ashby side, who normally provide a severe test.
Ashby looked the sharper side in the early part of the game, maintaining some early terrtory. Both sides made handling errors and the game did not flow well, going from scrum to scrum with the odd penalty thrown in.
The visitors opened the scoring from one such award, 35 metres out with the ball sailing between the uprights.
Kesteven rose to the challenge with typical vigour. As Doug Hayward tried to speed the game up with a tap penalty, he was stopped illegally and the Ashby player paid for his act with 10 minutes in the sin bin.
Kesteven eschewed the chance of three points from the next penalty by kicking to the corner. The forwards had several attempts to get the ball over the line, with Purvis, Turner and Sheardown going close, but the Ashby defence held.
A deep kick to the corner was not cleared by the Kesteven defence and the Ashby wing scored a try with two minutes to go before the break.
Kesteven responded well and quickly got into the Ashby 22. Again they went close to scoring only to be awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Everyone expected the easy three points except James Goodrich who quickly sized up the position and took a quick tap to force his way over for the try, turning three points into seven.
The second half went much the way of the first with Kesteven gradually getting on top but not finding the spark to break down a very well organised Ashby midfield defence.
Again Ashby worked their way up to earn a penalty chance which they converted to extend the lead to 11-7 with 20 minutes left.
Kesteven did not panic and were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts. This time Parker kicked the goal to narrow the gap to one point again with 10 minuutes remaining.
One final drive saw Ashby concede a penalty in front of the posts in the last minute. Parker kept his cool and calmly slotted over the kick to give Kesteven a win that their overall play deserved.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Jordan, Cooper, Goodrich, Hughes, Parker, Wood, Sheardown, Hayward, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Flear, Turner, Woolerton. Reps: Carew, Midgely, Dent.