Midlands Senior Vase
Rugby Lions 28
Kesteven welcomed Rugby Lions to Woodnook and the visitors opened the scoring with a neat move exploiting space on the left.
This was converted and minutes later they added a penalty to open up a 10 point lead after just 10 minutes.
Kesteven gradually gained some possession to establish some territory. They won an attacking scrum in the 22 but were turned over. From the reset scrum came the first indication that the home side might have an advantage.
A good push disrupted the visitors’ pack and Leo Vincent was on hand to scoop up the ball and dive over in one movement. Olly Wood converted to narrow the gap.
Kesteven did not get a chance to build on this success as they failed to deal with the restart kick and conceded a line-out on their 22. Rugby won the ball and moved it well to create space for their second try.
The visitors extended their lead when their strong left wing brushed off three tackles to score his second try. The conversion opened up a sizeable 22-7 lead after 27 minutes.
It was going to take something special to get Kesteven back into the game. Draper picked up a loose ball deep in his own half and set off on a great run. He was about to round the last defender when he was stopped by a high and dangerous tackle. This resulted in the offending player being sent off.
Rob Sheardown opted to kick to the corner and from the line-out, the pack forced their way over. Gavin Purvis was credited with the try and Wood converted to make the half time score 22-14.
The second half started with Kesteven playing with more heart. Miles had a good run and looked to have got over the line but he was judged to have been held up. Kesteven drove the scrum over the line and the referee awarded a penalty try. Wood again converted to cut the deficit to one point.
Rugby to their credit tried hard to make light of their numerical disadvantage amd also had a good kicker who slotted over a long range penalty followed by a closer one after 20 minutes to increase their lead to seven points.
Kesteven got a grip on the match and a further surge by the pack brought its reward when once again they forced their way over the line and Turner came up with the ball. Draper converted with a fine kick to tie the scores.
It was all Kesteven now and in the final flurry they were awarded a penalty on the 22. Youthful exuberance took over and they took a quick tap when a converted penalty would have given them the lead.
They kept up the attack and Ollie Hughes was able to make a half break and made a good pass to Tom Miles some 40 metres out. The young wing had a lot to do but he straightened his run and fended off would be tacklers to force his way over in the corner.
The conversion attempt failed but Ks were only left to defend the scoreline for a further minute before the welcome sound of the final whistle brought an end one of the most thrilling matches seen at Woodnook.
Kesteven: Wood, Miles, Hughes, Aspinall, Windsor, Dingley, Addlesee, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Tweddle, Cowley, Vincent, Lines, Turner. Reps: Danford, Draper, Cole.