Midlands League 3
Kesteven travelled to Leicestershire to take on Ashby on a well-prepared ground bathed in fine autumn sunshine.
Kesteven made a good start and sharp scrum half Ken Lines made a keen break. Ashby conceded a penalty which Chris Galloway converted with ease to open the scoring.
The lead did not last long as the visitors failed to deal with the restart kick and conceded a penalty. Ashby kicked to the corner, won the line out and rolled over for the try which was converted.
Kesteven found it difficult to get possession and get into the game. They lost Tom Webster to a head injury after 20 minutes, with Leo Vincent coming on as replacement. Worse was to come as Charlie Pirie received a yellow card. Ashby then added a couple of penalties before the break to extend their lead to 13-3 at the interval.
Kesteven got off to the best start to the second half. The pack got into good territory and a fine drive ended when captain Gavin Purvis pirouetted off the maul to go over to score. Galloway’s conversion hit the post and stayed out but Kesteven were back in the game.
They were helped when an Ashby player was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle. Galloway kicked the penalty to narrow the gap to two points.
They were forced to reshuffle the side agan as Lines left the field with a leg injury, while Ashby made light of the loss of their player. They were able to kick deep into the Kesteven half and worked their way over for their second try.
Dan Turner made a great effort as Ashby were penalised. He was stopped just short while Ashby conceded another penalty. This time the visitors eschewed the offer of three points.
Then Turner was unlucky to be yellow-carded when making a try-saving tackle and Ashby extended their lead. They followed this up with a third try as the home side took control.
They lost a player to a second yellow card but were still able to get the vital bonus point try soon after.
Galloway broke away for a consolation try for Kesteven. But Ashby had the last word with a final converted try following a bizarre line-out on the Kesteven line to wind up as winners and to climb to second in the league.
It was a disappointing day for Ks. Purvis worked hard but the pack were not able to keep possession for long. James Cowley and Stokes were prominent but the Ashby defence were geared up to deal with the power from the Kesteven back division. Turner was always on the lookout for openings and Harry Cox had a couple of good runs.
Kesteven: Hall, Bartlett, Halliday, Turner, Cox, Galloway, Lines, Brown, Sheardown, Purvis, Pirie, Cowley, Webster, Armstrong, Stokes. Reps: Pert, Vincent, Price.