Kesteven youngsters get the better of Oakham
Kesteven under 16s 27
Oakham under 16s 17
Kesteven under 16s welcomed Oakham to Woodnook on Sunday.
Being Remembrance Sunday, the two-minutes’ silence was observed before the sporting battle commenced.
Oakham are traditionally a very strong side and certainly were physically imposing.
They were, however, only able to field 12 players so the home side lent them two players and drafted in two of Kesteven’s under 15 side to make up the numbers.
Matt and Chester Shelbourne acquitted themselves admirably.
Playing 14-a-side, Kesteven showed their attacking intent from the start with Brighten catching a high kick and juggling it behind his back before beating the defence with fast feet and feeding scrum-half Devlin Archer to finish in the corner with a full-length dive.
Kesteven continued their good work with forwards and backs linking together well to pressure the Oakham defence.
Fly-half Brewis charged down a kick from Oakham, which was pounced upon by speedster Jack Palin who scuttled away, scoring wide on the left.
Brewis and Palin continued to add to Oakham’s misery when the winger benefitted from a grubber kick to score his second try of the match.
Oakham managed a score themselves shortly afterwards, reminding the home side they were a very capable side, before Josh Kwasau and Tom Edwards combined in the centre to create a chance for Kwasau to dance through the defence and score under the posts.
The half finished with Parr allowing a pass to creep through his fingers with the line at his mercy, following excellent Edwards link play.
Kesteven led 22-5 at half-time.
The second half saw Zack Durham make his Kesteven debut, with the two under 15s also stepping into the team.
Oakham started the half very strongly and made the most of Kesteven’s inability to catch the high ball from the kick off, and the resulting line-out saw their forwards trundle over for an early score.
Oakham proved every bit as dangerous as previous encounters and took advantage of the tiring Kesteven forwards.
Their large forwards made ground, despite the efforts of second rows Fuller and Hughes who, with back row Cox, made several big tackles.
The Cole Brothers worked hard throughout from the prop position and provided several hard tackles and line-breaking ball carries throughout, and winger Bartlett provided some massive hits in defence.
Sturdy defence from Kesteven saw them march up the pitch and secure possession close to the Oakham line when Archer’s perfect run was met with a Brighten pass.
A final pop to Palin saw the winger complete his hat-trick before a final consolation score from a very competitive Oakham squad.
The final score of 27-17 was probably a fair reflection of the game and a very enjoyable match for the spectators.
Kesteven: Archer, Bartlett, Brighten, Brewis, B. Cole, J. Cole, Cox, Durham, Edwards, Fuller, Hughes, Kwasau, Matt Machine, Moth, Palin, Parr, Salam, Shelbourne, Tapson.