Kesteven looked to get off to a good start, playing to keep the ball alive, and were soon on the attack.
RFU Senior Vase
Northampton Men’s Own 21
Kesteven showed their confidence when an early penalty was pushed to the corner and perfectly executed the catch and drive, with Gavin Purvis getting the touchdown. Matt Harland added the conversion. Turner got the second following a neat pass from Parker. Again Harland converted and Kesteven had a clear 14 point lead.
The third try came as Hughes was tackled short, but Hudson did brilliantly to keep the ball alive and find Harland who popped the ball off to Whittaker who scored in the corner.
Just before the break, Odams was first through on to a loose ball on half way. He found Turner up in support and he raced away for the fourth try. Harland’s conversion made the half time score 26-0.
Kesteven went close to scoring on a couple of occasions before Cam Hudson sent Jake Hughes bursting through. Harland again converted before Northampton started to play some rugby. They found space out on the left and their wing ran in a good try from half way. The conversion was good.
Kesteven took a quick penalty and Hudson again made space for Hughes to run clear to score his second try. Harland’s conversion brough the Kesteven tally to 40. Northampton finished with two more late tries, both converted, to put a gloss on the score.
Kesteven: Harland, Whittaker, Hughes, Hudson, R. Jordan, Parker, Lines, Odams, Sheadown, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Flear, Turner, Webster. Reps: Peabody, Carew, Martin.
Grimsby 2nd 17
Kesteven 2nd 24
Scrum half Simon Morgan worked the opportunity to give Tyrone Miles a run at the opposition line. He took three players with him to open the scoring.
The flow of the game was stalled when Darren Blackley was taken to hospital with a cracked rib. It was decided to end the first half with Kesteven 5-0 to the good.
Joe Berry ran a great line to take the ball under the posts for a 12-0 lead following the conversion. Kesteven saw where the gaps were and had soon worked an overlap for Steve Smith to sprint in to the corner for a well deserved try.
Grimsby’s powerful centre smashed straight through Jack Danford for a try in reply, with Danford following Blackley to hospital.
Grimsby used two penalties well to work opportunities to score a couple of good tries and level the score with minutes on the clock.
With backs against the wall, Kesteven knew all they could do was defend and hope for the opportunity to come. Smelling victory Grimsby chose to run the ball wide for the first time in the game but a loose pass saw centre Olly Hughes intercept and run 60metres to devastate the Grimsby side and elate his own.
With the conversion kicked, the game was brought to a close for the most satisfying of victories.
Ks showed the spirit required at seconds level, with the belief that victory will come if you stick to your strengths
Kesteven: T. Smith, P. Dolan, Dent, Hayward, Miles, Windsor, R. Dolan, Dent, Morgan, Berry, S. Smith, Blackley, Hughes, Charles, Danford.