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Kesteven defeat not-so-high 'Rollers'

Midlands 3 East North

Kesteven 25

Rolls-Royce 12

Aaron Whittaker scored three tries for Kesteven on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (19970726)
Aaron Whittaker scored three tries for Kesteven on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (19970726)

Kesteven marked the occasion of their new Price Whiting Hodgson-sponsored kit being launched with a fine performance.

Bottom-of-the-table Rolls-Royce still proved to be doughty opponents and it took a little while to get on top. Both packs worked hard, but it was the home side who opened the scoring.

Turner was in the lead and made a strong break in midfield. As he straightened his run, he threw out a great pass to Matt Grinney who found Aaron Whittaker running clear for a good unconverted try.

The rest of the half saw an arm wrestle between the forwards, but the backs also played their part, with Wood looking promising.

Ks went close but could not get over the line until just before the break. Turner was involved again, this time with a scrum pick up to Draper, then ball along the line for Grinney to score. This gave Kesteven a 10-0 lead at the break.

Kesteven started quickly in the second half as Will Pert made a charge for the line.

The visitors' defence held and they gradually worked their way upfield. The forwards took control and after 10 minutes they went over for a try.

This caused the Black Army to raise their effort with more fluency in their play.

They quickly got back upfield and Grinney went over for his second try following another fine bit of handling. This seemed to settle the home team.

Goodrich was prominent in taking the play on and soon Whittaker added his second and third tries to seal the bonus point victory.

Kesteven were able to vary the team in the second half. Xanti Xipu made a welcome return from injury to replace Ed Cole who had put in a solid shift at hooker. Ben Bailey had another chance to show his paces, while Lewis Clarke replaced Henry Parker.

Rolls-Royce kept playing right to the end and got their reward with the final move of the game. They scored under the posts and had the honour of adding the only conversion of the match.

Kesteven: Whittaker, Wood, Goodrich, Grinney, H. Parker, M. Parker, Draper, Sheardown, Cole, Purvis, Tweddle, Pert, Armstrong, Bibby, Turner. Reps: Xipu, Bailey, Clarke.

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