RUGBY: Kesteven throw away lead to take share of points at Grimsby
Midlands League 3
Kesteven travelled north to face Grimsby, looking to keep in touch with the second promotion spot. Following a very hard fixture when the two sides met at Woodnook earlier in the season, Ks knew they had a difficult task ahead.
They did start well and were soon on the attack but Grimsby defended well.
Ks’ backs looked good but it took 25 minutes before the first try. This time, skipper Tom Webster was up in support of Martyn Parker to go over for the try.
This settled the team and they soon added to their tally when James Goodrich took a pass from Draper to crash over.
After the break, the impressive Scott Odams forced his way over through a ruck of bodies. Two of Kesteven’s three tries were converted and at 19-0 Kesteven looked set for a good win.
But Grimby had other ideas and soon began their comeback. They scored their only try after 50 minutes which gave them hope.
Kesteven then had to withstand some pressure from the home side and though they were able to keep their line intact, it was at the expense of a number of penalties. Grimsby had an excellent kicker and he converted four of these to claw back the deficit.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Jepson, Aspinall, Goodrich, Cartwright, Parker, Draper, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Webster, Woolerton, Sayle. Reps: Taylor, Vincent, Cole.
Kesteven started the game in determined fashion, as did Stamford who took some early possession in the scrum and line-out, but the Grantham side went on to dominate.
Edwards reacted quickly to make the most of a loose ball and passed it swiftly to Spriggs who touched down for the first Kesteven try on the wing.
Ks stole a line-out and some great linking work from Archer to Edwards, Brenton and Bartlett then set up Cox who was held up over the try line. The ensuing scrum was won by Kesteven and further excellent linking between Edwards and Archer put down a second try.
Brighten took a free kick quickly and swiftly took the ball over for a third try, which was converted comfortably from a wide by Edwards.
Brenton took on possession to pass to Edwards, who timed his pass well to Bartlett who steamed through a Stamford pack for his first try of the day. Edwards converted for a 24-0 half time lead.
Stamford brought out their tank of a prop to play and took advantage of the ground gained by the referee’s decision to send Kesteven backwards on more than one occasion. The prop thumped through twice across the line, but was held up on both ocasions.
Using a different tactic, from the lineout, Stamford passed quickly down the line to score their opening try, which was duly converted.
In response to this, Kwasau picked up a loose ball and passed through to Cox who touched down his try. Bartlett went over to increase Kesteven’s lead, with Edwards successfully kicking the extra points.
Stamford pulled back another try but Kwasau, seemingly donning an ‘invisibility cloak’, casually stepped through for a try to cancel out the Stamford score. Edwards’s kick was good.
Salam powered through with a drive and secured the ball to Taylor who went over for the next try.
Archer, Taylor, Kwasau and Palin almost made it through again, but Stamford stole back and scored on the counter-attack.
Salam was more than a match for the giant Stamford prop and made light work in the tackle.
Then, after some fumbled work to gain possession again, Bartlett broke through and covered the length of the pitch to go over for the last try of the day. Edwards kicked his fifth conversion of the match.
Kesteven: Archer, Bartlett, Brenton, Brewis, Brighten, B. Cole, J. Cole, Cox, Edwards, Fuller, Hodgson, Hughes, Kwasau, Moth, Palin, Salam, Spriggs, Taylor (c), Yeomans.