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Kesteven second string win nail-biter by two points

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Notts Pennant League Group 3

Mellish 2nd 10

Kesteven 2nd 12

Kesteven 2nd (55074446)
Kesteven 2nd (55074446)

There is something special happening in the Kesteven RFC second string right now.

A year or so ago, the squad was still in its infancy, with many players new to the game bolstering the firsts. Now the picture looks much different.

A Kesteven squad of 19 travelled to Mellish, a team that had only been beaten once all season. It was third in the league against seventh.

The seconds were not in bad form either with three wins out of three, prior to a narrow defeat last week, leaving the squad buoyant.

Rugby is a respectful game and both applauded Jack Jeffery, the young man from Evesham RFC who died from his injuries last week while playing the game he clearly loved. Both the Mellish and Ks number 11 shirts were not worn to remember this young lad.

From the first whistle to the last, the workrate from all was phenomenal.

The forward pack are a force to be reckoned with. They all made great carries, with Ash Osborne and Michael Coghill making ground, always supported in the ruck, whether from the forwards or backs.

Man-of-the-match Harry Edwards was relentless, always involved, giving it his all.

The forwards played smart rugby, carrying it up to the 22 and forcing the penalty. The backs were well organised, with Matt Grinney at nine and Parker at 10 marshalling the line.

When the ball moved from left to right, it was simple rugby, good passing, great hands – Parker – Lowe – Firth; there was still support out wide, with Mitchell and Austen on the overlap, but Firth found the gap and ran through for the try.

Although perfect weather for rugby, the wind played its part and Grinney was unlucky not to find the inside of the posts with his kick.

Mellish came back strongly and had to work hard against a well-organised defence to score two tries prior to half-time.

Heads stayed raised and morale was never in question, as Kesteven knew they had a fight on their hands – but so did Mellish.

It was only minutes into the second half when Parker’s champagne pass through his legs to Lowe, off-loaded to Mitchell who side-stepped one, handed off another to off-load back to Lowe to score Ks' second.

At 10-10, it was down to Grinney to give Ks the lead with his boot, and this he did.

Ks continued to work hard with and without the ball in hand and dominated for the majority of the second half. There could have been more, but fatigue and the conditions took their toll.

Firth played valiantly at full back and his clinical tackling and carries at pace took their toll and he made way for Edwards who moved to hooker on 50 minutes. Finney moved out to the wing, with Vessllo going to full back.

Mellish were hesitant to move the ball through their backs, instead using their forwards. However, they had no joy, as Ks stayed strong and made hard tackles and big carries.

Benno replaced Ellis and Will Edwards, who made his debut for the seconds, replaced Smith with 20 minutes to go.

Neither wasted time making an impact and with Edwards playing as a product of the club's youth programme, it was further evidence the club is looking to its future as well as its present.

When the full-time whistle went, every player was spent. It was a hard-fought win and the team all celebrated, knowing they had given it their all.

Players in their teens playing alongside team-mates in their 40s shows what a team Kesteven are.

They now look forward to their next game in a fortnight's time. Confidence is high, morale is high and the will to play for each other evident – “one club, one family”.

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