RUGBY: Kesteven go through in county cup despite changes
Kesteven played their opening game of 2015 at the Princess Royal Sports Arena, Boston, in the first round of the Lincolnshire Cup.
Illness and unavailability meant that Tom Webster had to make a number of changes, particularly in the backs where 17-year-old Andy Cartwright made his first team debut after an impressive run of form in Ks’ second string. Martyn Parker, Phil Jordan, Will Cann and Brad Jepson also came into the side. In the pack there was a welcome return for James Cowley, whilst James Goodrich continued his transition to back row.
Ks got off to a great start when their first time tackling turned over ball on halfway. Slick handling saw Brad Jepson time his pass to perfection to Andy Cartwright for the young wing to mark his debut with a great try. Cann converted.
Boston responded in great fashion. They got a good head of steam up and pressed on the Kesteven line. After a number of attempts, they forced their way over the line for the equalising score.
The visitors had the livelier back division. Parker was adept at spreading the play well and Wood at full back came into the line well. Jepson made a number of breaks but the slippery ball was hard to keep hold of.
After 18 minutes, Jepson had a fine run and looked to be scoring. He was stopped by a desperate tackle but, as the ball broke loose, the ever reliable Sheardown was up in support to sweep the ball over the line for the try. The conversion failed but this set the pattern for the rest of the half.
The Kesteven pack was beginning to dominate possession and on another day would have added to their try tally. Boston were about to be penalised for offside but the referee used the advantage law well to allow play to continue and Wood finished the move off with a try at the posts. Cann converted.
Odams had a fine run up the field before Goodrich showed the way with yet another storming run. Parker made the initial break and Goodrich did the rest with an unstoppable finish.
Then at the end of the half another move by the backs was halted with a dropped pass. From the resulting scrum, the Kesteven pack forced the Boston pack over their own line to concede a five-metre scrum.
This time Kesteven applied the finishing touch by shoving the Boston pack over their own line, forcing them to concede a penalty try. Cann converted the latter two tries to make the half time score 33-7 to Kesteven.
Osborne came on at half time to replace Cowley and the second half was a calmer affair. Boston had a bit more ball but had little penetration. They did add a try after 12 minutes of the half but that was the last of the scoring.
Kesteven played a more containing game. They had a lot of possession but were unable to add to their score.
Leo Vincent came on for Mark Sayle and Cowley returned to the fray for Osborne. Jepson again made telling breaks but was not able to finish. Gavin Purvis led the charge on a number of occasions and was awarded man of the match.
Cowley was out in space on the wing, anxious to use that to good effect but the ball did not run for him. The game finished with Kesteven on the attack, happy to go through to the second round which is away to Scunthorpe.
Kesteven: Wood, Cartwright, Jepson, Cann, P. Jordan, Parker, Dingley, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Webster, Goodrich, Sayle. Reps: Osborne, Vincent.