Kesteven prove too strong in win over Mansfield
Midlands 3 East North
Kesteven paid tribute to former chairman Paul Woods who passed away late last year by remembering his contribution to the club with a minute's applause before the game.
The morning rain gave way to a sun kissed afternoon at Woodnook as Kesteven kicked off.
This led to early dominance as Mansfield were pinned down in their own 22 area. They were struggling to cope and gave away three early penalties.
The Kesteven pack controlled the line-out and after a couple of thrusts to the line they moved the ball to the backs where Goodrich forced his way over for the opening try. The conversion was missed.
Ks fielded the restart and set up another attack. Cowley drove into the heart of the Mansfield defence and when the ball was recycled, quick hands from Draper to Parker set Goodrich free on half way. The big centre set off on an arcing run which saw him score near the corner to open up a 10-0 lead.
Mansfield could not get into the game as Kesteven turned the screw.
This time the pack kept control of the ball and, after more pressure, Purves was credited with the try from a combined forward effort. This opened up a 15 point lead after as many minutes.
Mansfield at last got some possession and got into the game. This time it was the Kesteven defence to excel, with some stout tackling by Grinney at full back and Lines on the wing. Raddings was injured and was replaced in the centre by Turner.
The defence held firm until the last moments of the half when, after a period camped on the Kesteven line, the visitors crossed for a try to make the half time score 15-5.
The second half started well for Ks. After two minutes they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and Grinney stepped up to add the three points to the score.
The game now entered a quiet phase with much effort but no reward.
Eventually, Kesteven got the all important try and it came from a fine effort from Turner who broke through on half way and ran strongly to score under the posts to give Grinney an easy conversion.
The game opened up in the last 15 minutes and Mansfield were able to add a second try far out on the left. The conversion hit the post and went over the bar.
Kesteven finished the match strongly. First a fine piece of inter-passing between forwards and backs, with Cowley prominent, saw Parker run strongly and captain Rob Sheardown was on hand to score.
Grinney added the goal points before the match finished with the best try when James Goodrich got the ball inside his own half and left the Mansfield defence in shreds as he ran down the wing to score his hat trick try.
This seemed a great way to bring down the curtain on a fine match but Mansfield wanted the last word and won the restart to take play up to the corner and added a third and final try.
Kesteven: Grinney, Hodgson, Raddings, Goodrich, Lines, Parker, Draper, Sheardown, Cole, Purvis, Pert, Hanson, Cowley, Norsworthy, Webster. Reps: Weaver, Mitchell, Turner.