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Kesteven Colts are victorious against Oakham Rugby Club

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Stepping out on to the first-team pitch for the first time this season, Kesteven Colts ran out 17-10 winners when they welcomed old rivals Oakham back to Woodnook.

An intense first 10 minutes saw both sides battling to get any kind of foothold in the game.

The wind caused problems for both teams and the rugby, at times, was gritty with any territorial gains hard-earned as they slogged it out in the middle of the pitch.

Kesteven Colts (55516251)
Kesteven Colts (55516251)

However, Kesteven took advantage of the wind behind them to launch the ball deep into the Oakham half whenever the opportunity arose.

Despite direct, powerful and uncompromising runs from the likes of Edwards and Pilkington, and committed defence from Ingamells and Simpson, Oakham gave little away and looked threatening at every turn.

Although the growing number of visits to the Oakham 22 gave Kesteven good field position, the goalline remained elusive.

However, poor discipline from the visitors was punished hard by the ever-reliable boot of Walker and Kesteven went into the half-time break 12 points up.

With the wind in their face, the game promised to be an uphill struggle for Kesteven in the second half.

Whilst Oakham seemed surprisingly unwilling to kick, they were always keen to run from deep within their own half and an 80m break against the run of play saw their full-back put five points on the board 12 minutes into the second period.

Kesteven Colts (55516250)
Kesteven Colts (55516250)

With kicking now a less profitable strategy, Kesteven’s backs stepped up the pace and attacked down both wings with renewed conviction.

With slick handling from the centre pairing of Whaley and Whinney, and dominance at the breakdown, Kesteven started to use the full width of the pitch to probe the Oakham flanks.

A break by Owen late in the game from deep inside his own half set up the next phase to see Gilbert accelerate down the right wing and run in for Kesteven’s first try of the game.

A consolation try for Oakham in the dying minutes yielded well-deserved points for the visitors to conclude a physical and often brutal encounter between two obviously capable teams.

Oakham had always looked dangerous and Kesteven were made to work hard for every point.

It was a great team effort in tricky conditions and the perfect warm-up for the big one next week at Newark.

Kesteven: Sheard, Simpson, Ford-Pain, Harris, Ingamells, Mottram, Pilkington, Edwards, Gilbert, Walker, Fowler, Owen, Coyle, Harrison, Bullement. Subs: Turford, Whaley, Muir, Whinney, Jackson, Login, Griffiths.

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