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Victory takes Kesteven RFC to fifth in league

Midlands 3 East (North)

Buxton 30

Kesteven 51

On the ball: James Goodrich shadowed closely by brother Cameron. Photo: Graeme Reynolds (7774222)
On the ball: James Goodrich shadowed closely by brother Cameron. Photo: Graeme Reynolds (7774222)

Kesteven jumped to fifth place in the league table after a high-scoring outing away to Buxton.

Tries from Dan Turner (2), Tom Miles (2), Aaron Whittaker, James Goodrich, Henry Parker and Harry Cox, as well as four conversions and a penalty from the boot of Ben Whinney blew away the home side, despite going within a few scores at times. Gavin Purvis continued as skipper.

The opening score came very early on for Ks. On halfway, Whinney got quick ball from the ruck and fed Whittaker who flew past the Buxton defence with ease to dive over on the right hand side. In windy conditions, Whinney slotted his first conversion.

A missed penalty was rectified by the Buxton full back who landed his second shot from the same position, but Whinney restored the seven-point Kesteven lead with a penalty of his own.

From here, it appeared the floodgates had opened and Ks ran in three rapid tries. After a superb backs move, winger Miles was left with space out wide to dive over for an unconverted score.

The second of the three came after a break in midfield from Ben Betts. The ball was shipped wide to find Henry Parker who touched down for his first try in a first XV shirt. Whinney’s shot for the extras hit the near post.

Miles was in again under the sticks for his second and, with the conversion added, Ks looked to be in the ascendancy.

However, Buxton came back into it. Their abrasive game plan to use forward carries repetitively tired the Kesteven pack and eventually the home side crossed over. The conversion was missed, but Buxton returned to the away 22 quickly.

The forward game plan remained and the side in yellow dotted down once more. The rush of tries seemed a blur as the half time whistle sounded with Ks leading 27-15.

Memories resurfaced of the earlier contest between the two clubs, where a 19-point lead for Kesteven was painfully lost.

An early second half try from the hosts warned Ks that the contest was far from over. Buxton looked to be tipping the balance in their favour, but their style of play was repetitive.

As a result, Goodrich read a pass superbly to intercept and run home unchallenged, with Whinney adding the extras.

Harvey Fuller and Leo Vincent were introduced at half time for Ollie Hanson and the injured Tom Webster, with Cox replacing Henry Parker later in the half.

Buxton scored once more before Ks sealed the win. Turner stole the ball at the breakdown and kicked downfield, where the chasers counter-rucked, won the ball back and shipped it out wide to find substitute Cox who dived into the corner. Whinney’s effort at goal was off target.

Two late tries from Turner in the corner and an intercept well and truly wrapped up proceedings for Ks, who have now gained two bonus point wins from two games against teams in the top half of the table.

Kesteven: Sheardown, Tito Xipu, Purvis, Pert, Hanson, C. Goodrich, Webster, Turner, Whinney, Draper, Miles, Betts, J. Goodrich, H. Parker, Whittaker, Fuller, Vincent, Cox.

P W D L Pt

Nottingham Casuals 17 17 0 0 83

Ashfield 18 13 1 4 62

Belper 18 12 1 5 61

Spalding 18 9 1 8 50

Kesteven 18 8 1 9 43

Buxton 18 8 1 9 43

Rolls Royce 18 7 0 11 39

Mansfield 18 7 0 11 37

Nottingham Moderns 18 7 0 11 37

Tupton 18 6 1 11 33

Bakewell Mannerians 17 6 0 11 29

Sleaford 18 4 0 14 24

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