RUGBY: League leaders Kesteven maintain three-point cushion
Midlands League 3
Kesteven welcomed their Old Boys to Woodnook for the annual reunion and entertained them with an efficient victory that maintained their three-point buffer over Loughborough at the top of the league.
Weather conditions looked likely to have a big influence in the game as a strong cold wind blew down the pitch.
Kesteven kicked off but immediately conceded possession as Ashby worked play quickly into their opposition’s half, making use of the strong wind behind them. They opened the scoring after five minutes with a try from close range which was converted.
This setback did not upset the home team and they replied almost immediately. This time they retrieved possession from the restart and Dan Turner made the first of several great runs. He stormed into the Ashby 22 and found support from James Goodrich.
He looked to be in for the try but lost the ball at the last moment. Kesteven attacked the Ashby pack at the resulting scrum and pushed them off the ball for Turner to pick up and crash over.
Ks started to exert control which they kept up through the game. It took a further 15 minutes for the next try to arrive. This time Justin Dingley was the scorer, completing a neat move off a line-out. His score at the post was converted by Whittaker.
Straight from the restart, Turner caught the ball and strode through the defence. A couple of passes later and Whittaker beat the last defender with ease to score.
The end of the half was played in a fierce hailstorm but it did not stop the rampant Kesteven side, and Ollie Hughes battled through the cold to finish off a neat cross-field move to add the bonus point try just before the break.
Ashby did show a bit of resistance and got into the Kesteven 22 where they added a penalty goal with the last kick of the half, making the half time score 22-10 to the home team.
The storm abated in the half time interval but Kesteven carried on where they left off. They had the wind behind them and kept Ashby pinned in their own half. Tom Miles came on to the wing to replace Taylor but it was the forwards who continued to dominate.
A great forward drive early in the half saw Charlie Pirie go close to scoring, and Dave Tweddle was in close support to get the try. Pirie was injured and was replace by Leo Vincent.
Parker found a great kick to the corner and from a scrum close to the line, Turner repeated his earlier effort to go over for his second pushover try.
He was in action moments later and completed a fine hat trick with a great solo try breaking from halfway to run in a great try. This time Whittaker added the goal points to extend the lead to 39-10.
Ashby to their credit did not lie down and got a bit more into the game. For all their efforts, they were unable to add to their score.
Kesteven weathered that storm and finished the game off in style when Purvis broke away from a line-out to crash over for the final score.
With a further hailstorm looming, the referee brought the match to an end and all players were happy to escape to the clubhouse.
Turner was voted man of the match, chosen by a group of the old boys who were suitably impressed by the performance of the present day team.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Taylor, J. Dingley, Goodrich, Hughes, Parker, Draper, Osborne, Sheardown, Purvis, Tweddle, Cowley, Pirie, Lines, Turner. Reps: Vincent, C. Dingley, Miles.