RUGBY: Kesteven triumph away in local derby
Midlands League 3
Kesteven made the short trip to Sleaford for the return match against their nearest neighbours.
Tom Webster Scott Odams and Keiran Taylor made a welcome return to the starting line-up which Kesteven were keen to win to keep up the pressure on league leaders Loughborough.
Sleaford kicked off and Tweddle caught and made the opening thrust into the Sleaford half. This was to set the pattern, as the visiting forwards were always looking to take the ball on.
Sleaford were pinned in their own half and Kesteven opened the scoring after nine minutes. The forwards won good ball on the right and a simple passing move saw Ollie Hughes carry it down the wing to cut inside and go in for the try.
Sleaford eventually crossed into the Kesteven half and were awarded a penalty, but the kick drifted off past the left post.
Ks quickly regrouped and continued to test the home defence. The backs were finding it hard to find space as the home backs were closing them down, but then Turner saw his chance and chipped over the onrushing cover. He caught his own kick and ran in for the try. Whittaker converted to open up a 12 point lead.
The rest of the half followed a similar pattern and it took an error by Sleaford to create the next try. A dropped pass led to a scrum under their posts and it was simple first phase possession which saw Wood get the ball to Goodrich who sent Taylor in for the try and a 17-0 half time lead.
Ashborne came on for Odams and Pirie came on for Sayle at the break and his youthful pace about the field had an immediate impact. After nine minutes, he broke away from a scrum and Turner was up in support to take the scoring pass and the bonus point.
Lines replaced Webster with 20 minutes left, then Goodrich was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle, and for the second week running Kesteven had to defend with 14 men. This they did to good effect and Sleaford, who were unable to get through, tried a snap drop goal which somehow crept over to get them on the scorecard.
Ashborne retired with a leg injury and Odams came back on. Following the set back of the Sleaford score, the sleeping Kesteven pack re-awakened and they finished on a high.
First, Goodrich set up a rolling maul which was unstoppable and ended with Odams touching down. Then, with the final move, a loose clearance was picked off by Tom Miles. Again, great support play saw Cowley and Tweddle combine for the latter to crown a man of the match performance with the final try.
Effective without being sparkling, it was a workmanlike performance from Kesteven and kept them on track, just two points behind leaders Loughborough.
This week, Kesteven are on the road again to third-placed Lincoln.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Miles, Taylor, Goodrich, Hughes, Wood, Draper, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Tweddle, Cowley, Webster, Sayle, Turner. Reps: Osborne, Pirie, Lines.