RUGBY: Kesteven throw away lead in county derby at Boston
Kesteven made their first away trip of the league campaign on Saturday, travelling to Boston for this local Lincolnshire derby.
Injuries and unavailability meant a much changed side from the successful pre season games but the team still looked strong on paper. Rob Sheardown took on the skipper duties in the absence of Tom Webster.
The game kicked off with Kesteven looking to attack, and they were offered the first opportunity for points – a penalty on the 10 metre line but it was narrowly missed.
The breakthrough came soon after with Dan Turner breaking the line on the blind side. With too many defenders to beat he put in a kick for Rob Cooper to chase. The Boston full back looked as though he had covered the threat well but at the line coughed up possession to the on-rushing Cooper who swooped in to score.
This spurred Kesteven on but it took a moment of individual brilliance to conjure the next score.
Kesteven were awarded a scrum on their own 22 and Turner picked up from the back. He sold two of the talented Boston back row and scrum half an outrageous dummy and strode off up the pitch. With a wing and full back to beat, the odds looked against the number eight, but he picked a great angle and showed superb pace to score the try.
It was at this point that the visitors nearly came off the rails as they failed to take the restart cleanly and coughed up possession to the home side. Boston then had the lion’s share of the rest of the half as Kesteven failed to clear their lines time and again.
Only an unbelievable last ditch tackle from newcomer Tom Miles kept Boston out as they butchered two try scoring opportunities. Boston were able to kick a penalty goal.
Boston came out all guns blazing in the second half and eventually the crack appeared as the home scrum half picked a gap and darted over the line. The home kicker obviously knew the elements well and curled his conversion through the uprights to level the scores.
Gavin Purvis thought he saw the ball clear at the back of a ruck and hacked the ball away, only for the referee to disagree and send him from the field for 10 minutes.
With the Kesteven pack reduced, Boston opted for a scrum and at the second attempt were able to generate a score which was again converted.
With backs against the wall, Boston looked to put the game out of sight of Kesteven and slack defence in midfield saw their number eight break free. A speculative kick forward saw the Ks defence in as much disarray as Boston were in the first half, and the home side generated a decisive try.
With 79 minutes on the clock, Ks finally found a way to use their frustrated back line and it was exciting new wing and man-of-the-match Tom Miles who burst three attempted tackles to score a fantastic debut try and rescue a deserved bonus point, given the Kesteven effort.
Kesteven: Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Tweddly, Pert, Armstrong, Payne, Turner, Dent, Price, Draper, Goodrich, Aspinall, Cooper, Whitaker. Reps: Miles, Betts, Cole.