Midlands League 3
ANOTHER dramatic conclusion saw a one-point win go in Kesteven’s favour this time.
Kesteven were short of their four young players who turned out for Nottingham Academy. This allowed Martyn Parker Mark Dent, Rob Windsor and James Goodrich to come in to the back division. Into the pack came Dom Brister Marc Paton and Brett Login.
The first half was a tight affair with neither side able to get on the scoresheet, with some good positional play. Parker’s experience was important in keeping Southwell hemmed in their own half. The interval came with no scoring.
In the second half, Kesteven had the benefit of the wind and stepped up their game. They were able to vary their play well and Whitaker went close to scoring. Dan Turner, who had raced back from playing for Nottingham Academy, to take his place on the bench, came on for Windsor, while Andy Brown replaced Login.
Kesteven were starting to make inroads and were rewarded with a try. Dent took possession inside the Southwell 22 and broke for the line. He found Odams up in support. The young prop used Whitaker as a decoy runner to go in for the try.
The lead didn’t last long as the Southwell 10 made a good break to go over for a try which he then converted to take a two-point lead.
Going into the final quarter, Kesteven tried hard to reclaim the game. They speeded up play and were keen to run at Southwell. Brister got the ball in a maul on the 22 and used his strength and speed to race over for the try.
Southwell forced Kesteven into conceding a penalty in front of the posts. The simple kick would have tied the scores but they chose to run. The Kestevn defence repelled the first charge but could not prevent Southwell winning the ball and feeding their backs, and in the last minute Southwell scored a second try to regain the lead. Crucially the conversion was missed.
There was just time for Martyn Parker to kick off - and for Southwell to hold on to the ball illegally. To compound this error, they were marched back 10 metres for talking back to the referee, making the penalty just a bit easier. Dan Turner stepped up and with ice cool nerves steered the ball through the posts.
Kesteven: Dingley, Whitaker, P. Jordan, Goodrich, Windsor, Parker, Dent, Odams, Hayward, Paton, Cowley, Pert, Midgeley, Login, Brister. Reps: Brown, Sayle, D. Turner.
FACING Lincoln, a league above and in an away fixture, Kesteven knew their first league fixture would be a tough one.
Ks started strongly playing up hill against the wind, however it wasn’t long before Lincoln sent the ball down the pitch to gain the yards. With a strong pack, Lincoln gained further ground with their driving mauls.
Unfortunately after a big hit by Jack Danford on the Lincoln winger, play was stopped, this put him out for the rest of the game, where he was replaced by Michael Evans.
After a long break of play, Ks did well to come back into the game alert and strong in their defence. It was the over-eager defensive line that lead to Ks receiving a string of penalties. After quick tap penalties by Lincoln, the ball was sent wide for their winger to touch down for the try in the corner.
Turnover ball at the breakdowns meant Lincoln were able to win ball in the tight phases. With the back line centres and 10 consisting Harry Martin, Sam Thornburn and Will Cann, defence was strong with good pressure being put on the Lincoln backs.
Ks knew they had the beating of Lincoln in the backs and after half time the game plan was to protect the ball in the tight phases and use the pace in the backs. The forwards upped their game and made good ground with forwards picking from the rucks.
Strong running from Wiggin, Bacon and Wire gained Ks their yards whilst Griffin, Crowson and Cooke worked hard to clear out and protect the ball.
With Ks close to the Lincoln try line it was scrum half Helstrip who picked the ball from the ruck to push over for the try and equalise.
Ks went close on several occasions to take the lead with two held up tries and missed chances from penalties.
Kesteven 20 East Retford 10
Kesteven 10 East Retford 5
IN their first match of the new year, Kesteven were on top from the kick off, putting pressure on Retford and forcing them back into their half.
Great rucking from the pack saw Josh Udom steal the ball from his opposite number to feed a neat pass to Silas Windsor who went over the try line.
Retford replied with some good back play which saw their centre run through the Ks defence to level the score.
Ks’ second try came when Jack Rogerson received the ball from the boot of Retford’s full back and then with a perfect kick-through saw winger Toby Whinney run on and collect the ball, beating two Retford players to score a fine try.
Retford made it all square at the beginning of the second half but with good Ks possession, Windsor scrambled his way over the line for his second try. Man of the match Udom then scored a well-deserved try for his hard work.
The second game saw the Ks backs open up Retford’s defence with some great ball handling and pace. From a Ks scrum, Jack Rogerson once again set the try up with a long outside pass to full-back Chris Hardy who raced over the Retford try line.
Retford replied with a well-worked move to make it five apiece, but in the final five minutes, Retford knocked on to give Ks the scrum. The ball was shipped out quickly, finding winger Jacob Armstrong who with a great dummy crashed over the line to give Ks their second win of the day.
Kesteven: Hardy, Whinney, White, Rogerson, Armstrong, Wheeler, Pashley, Windsor (c), McLoughlin, Stewart, Udom, Warden, Porter.
Kesteven 26 Keyworth 0
Kesteven 33 East Retford 0
KESTEVEN completed a whitewash of Keyworth and East Retford on Sunday, scoring a total of eight tries without conceding a point.
Both games followed similar patterns as Kesteven starved both teams of possession with Hooker Harry Cox taking virtually every strike at the scrum. Kesteven continued their recent good form with the backs moving the ball into space and allowing wingers Palin, Brighten and Rogerson to run the opposition ragged.
Centre George Wainwright distributed the ball perfectly from centre and full-back Freddie Young ran straight and hard to claim a brace of tries.
On the rare occasions that Kesteven’s pack allowed the opposition some possession, the Black Army’s smothering defence soon snuffed out any danger at source and recycled the ball well for further attacks.
Kesteven: Archer (1 try), Brighten (1), Cole, Cox (2), Crisp, Del Brocco, Edwards, Fuller, Hodgson, Hughes, Moth, Palin, Parr, Peters (1), Rogerson (2), Tapson A, Tapson T, Taylor, Wainwright, Young (2).
Kesteven 5 Keyworth 3
Kesteven 3 Keyworth 6
Kesteven 6 Keyworth 5
KESTEVEN battled hard against strong opposition, putting up a good display against a Keyworth side that fielded some under-8s.
In the first match, Keyworth made some good passes, following well-timed tagging from Kesteven, but George W. showed his speed to run in four tries. A further, well-deserved try, from James meant the home side was safe.
Two quick tries early on gave the visitors the lead in the second match. Kesteven fought back with tries from Jamie S., Joe T. and Jack ., but good passing from the opposition enabled them to run in a further four tries.
The deciding match was very close. Both teams passed the ball well and made some excellent tags. Once again George W. kicked up his heels and ran down the wing, making three more tries, only for the visitors to match them.
A strong run from Matthew P. followed by a good pass to Jack I. saw him run in his second try of the day. After making some good runs all day, Joe D. was rewarded with a try.
With the points tied at five tries apiece, Lucas ran in a sixth try to give Kesteven a well-deserved win.