RUGBY: Kesteven continue push for promotion with away victory at Belper

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Midlands League 3

East (North)

Belper 17

Kesteven 34

Kesteven travelled to Belper with a strong side, looking to continue their push for promotion. They started the game well and put the home side under pressure early on.

James Goodrich crashed over for a try and Hudson converted for an early seven-point lead. Goodrich made another strong break and got a great off-load away to the supporting Whittaker.

Hudson then got on the scoresheet and, after 25 minutes, put Phil Jordan away out wide to secure the bonus point.

Ks stepped up the tempo early in the second half, but Belper were resolute in defence and made the visitors work hard for further opportunities. Eventually Dan Turner crashed over from short range to extend the lead.

Belper again responded well and scored a good try of their own. With a Belper player sin-binned, Ks took advantage and worked an overlap, putting their second row over in the corner for an easy try. Hudson converted from the touchline.

The sin-binning of both James Cowley and Phil Jordan gave the home side some hope and they scored two more tries – a push-over making use of the extra man in the scrum, and they were awarded a penalty try for a tackle by Dent.

Kesteven: Whittaker, O. Hughes, P. Jordan, Goodrich, Taylor, Hudson, Dent, Sheardown, Hayward, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Peabody, Turner, Woolerton. Reps: Odams, Brown, Ingram.

l This week sees East Retford visit Woodnook for the club reunion day – all ex-players and members are welcome. There will be a buffet and refreshments at 1.30pm and the match kicks-off at 3pm.

Notts Pennant League

Group Two

Belper 2nd 12

Kesteven 2nd 48

A youthful Kesteven opened their account from a solid scrum. Dyson provided crisp ball to Martin on to Harland who stepped his opposite man with ease for a trot over the line.

Confidence grew and a steady stream of tries followed. Dyson caused Belper problems throughout and was next on the scoreboard.

But complacency set in and Belper were able to work their way up the pitch to add seven points themselves.

Once they had conceded, Kesteven moved up a few gears and tries from Berry, Midgely, Dyson and Coghill put the game out of sight at half time.

With confidence high, an equally strong second half performance was expected. But for various reasons it became a very fragmented affair, allowing Belper to add to their tally taking it to 38-12.

Eventually, Ks settled back into their rhythm and added further tries to seal victory and take them a step closer to the sought after promotion.

Kesteven: MaCallister, Cunningham, Berry, Harland, Martin, Windsor, Dyson, Coghill, R. Dolan, Midgely, Carew, O’Neill, Paton, P. Dolan, Shields. Reps: Morrisey, Danford, W. Price, King

Kesteven 3rd 32

Cleethorpes 2nd 35

Kesteven were soon on the scoreboard when good play by fly-half Tom Price got a foothold in the Cleethorpes 22.

The pack worked their way to the line and when they were stopped, the ball was quickly fed out for Makwanna to use his strength and go over for the try.

From the restart, Price put a great kick in behind the Cleethorpes defence. He caught the full-back in possession and Des Friel was up in support to crash over and double the lead.

Cleethorpes were living on scraps but their stand-off was a useful player. He pounced on a dropped pass to hack through for a try at the posts. The conversion narrowed the gap to 10-7.

But Kesteven were soon on the scoresheet again as Makwanna got his second try and Tony Burton added a fourth with a superb break through. Price kicked the conversion.

Once again the Cleethorpes number 10 showed great individual play. He put a neat kick over the home defence, caught the ball and raced in at the posts to score. The conversion kept the visitors in touch.

Just before the break, another good piece of foward play was finished off by Miles, leaving Kesteven looking comfortable at 27-14 up.

Cleethorpes tightened up their defence in the second half and their number 10 finished with a third try under the posts. The extra points were kicked.

Kesteven did get back upfield and forced another try through Friel, before Cleethorpes scored again to narrow the gap to 32-28.

This set up a furious final 10 minutes but it was Cleethorpes who had the last word and scored at the posts. The conversion sealed victory for the visitors.

Kesteven: Blackley, S. Smith, Burton, Makwanna, Roughan, T. Price, Oakes, Arnold, Bennett, T. Smith, Flowers, Miles, Friel, Cocks, Hardy-Gillings. Reps: Pride, Hall.