RUGBY: Much changed Kesteven side take revenge
Midlands League 3
Kesteven took a much changed side to Boston keen to overturn the locals and avenge the defeat suffered at Woodnook in November.
The back division showed five changes from the previous week with Will Aspinall making his debut on the wing, and Parker and Templeton also coming in. Wood moved to full back and Whittaker on to the wing. In the pack, Leo Vincent replaced the unavailable Cowley.
Kesteven had first use of the strong wind which blew down the pitch and the early stages saw most of the play in the Boston half. This, however, did not yield an early advantage on the scoreboard because of a mixture of strong defence by Boston and indifferent handling by Kesteven. Boston had a couple of breakouts which the visitors repelled.
The first score came after 24 minutes. Mark Sayle stole line-out ball on his own 10-metre line. Addlesee floated a pass to Parker who plucked the ball out of the air. The flight of the pass deceived the defender and Parker was able to exploit a slight gap to make a half break. He fed Goodrich who relished the chance to stretch his legs and run strongly for the line with the final defender hanging off him.
This score settled Kesteven and they enjoyed a purple period of pressure. They forced a couple of penalties which stand-in skipper Sheardown opted to kick , with Whittaker keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
The fluent play was now starting to pay dividends and, just before the break, Whittaker was set free on the wing and he raced away to score, before kicking the conversion.
On the stroke of half time, Wood followed up his own kick ahead. The home full back was taken by surprise by the on-rushing Wood who hacked on the dropped ball, gathered it on the bounce and forced his way over. Whittaker’s conversion made the half time score 25-0, all scored in little more than 15 minutes.
Odams came on for Osborne just before the break then Webster replaced Vincent after half time.
Facing the wind in the second half, Kesteven expected a hard time of it but in fact they started strongly. Some strong running in the centre by Templeton and Goodrich would have yielded tries but the defence was able to close down the support.
Whittaker looked to have scored the bonus point try when he ran out of his own half, but was judged to have put a foot in touch. Will Aspinall also had a couple of great runs but again the defence just held.
Boston kept trying to attack and eventually seized on a Kesteven error to score out wide. This spurred them on to greater efforts and the Kesteven discipline, which had been good up to then, started to show cracks which led to a number of penalties.
Boston took advantage and scored a second try, together with a succerssful conversion a minute later.
But Kesteven had done enough in the first half to secure the win. Parker controlled the game well with some excellent probing kicks, and all the backs ran well and were worth their three tries.
In the pack, Sayle was outstanding in the line-out while Woolerton relished all the hard work at the coal face. It was good to see another youngster, in Will Aspinall, make the step up, while Danford belied his youth with his workrate in the loose.
Whittaker was awarded man of the match for his great try.
Kesteven: Wood, Aspinall, Templeton, Goodrich, Whittaker, Parker, Addlesee, Osborne, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Vincent, Payne, Woolerton, Sayle. Reps: Webster, Odams, Danford.