Midlands League 3
Kesteven made the trip into Derbyshire to play Belper, looking to overturn the defeat they suffered earlier in the season.
The visitors found conditions very difficult with deep mud across the pitch. Playing open rugby was impossible and the game developed into a battle between the packs.
Belper looked more lively at the start. They opened the scoring after just five minutes when they squeezed over for a try from a line-out. The conversion failed and this led to a period of stalemate.
Kesteven opened their account with a couple of penalties from Halliday, after a deliberate knock-on and then a second following and offside.
Belper then added a penalty after a high tackle before Halliday gave Kesteven the lead with his third penalty for 9-8 at the break.
The second half became even more difficult as the pitch deteriorated further. Belper had a second yellow card for another deliberate knock-on and Halliday extended the lead.
Kesteven kept trying and eventually scored their try. This time, Turner found some space and he put in a good kick for Vincent to chase. He still had a lot of work to do but he was able to get to the ball first and slide over for the try. The conversion failed but the increased advantage was to prove important.
Belper raised their game. Brown was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle and Kesteven played out the last five minutes a man short.
Belper were able to take advantage to score their second try. The conversion failed and there was no more time for Belper to add to their total, and so, Kesteven ran out victorious.
This was a heroic performance by Kesteven who moved up to third place in the league. The team have a blank Saturday this week before they take on Birstall on February 17.
Kesteven: Price, Vincent, Betts, Brewis, Cox, Halliday, Galloway, Stedman, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Cowley, Webster, Armstrong, Turner. Reps: Brown, Hanson, Pirie.
Lincoln Colts 12
Kesteven Colts 12
An under par Colts side travelled to Lincoln looking to make it seven wins in a row.
Despite playing with only 14, Lincoln had a far stronger side for this match-up compared to the previous encounter between the two sides earlier in the season. Ollie Chessum captained the side.
The early stages showed there was little between the two outfits. Territory and possession were evenly shared, as well as chances for both teams.
The home side opened the scoring through some quick play from the inside centre, through a tap-and-go penalty, taking advantage of Ks’ failure to react to the penalty. Lincoln failed to add the two extras.
Kesteven came back stronger. As the half drew to a close, the men in black were ferociously knocking on the door. But injuries started to creep into the game for Ks, as Pirie and Nel fell to a shoulder injury and concussion respectively.
A big chance went begging as the backs failed to utilise the overlap, and the Lincoln scramble defence kept the away side out on the stroke of half time.
A big 35 minutes lay ahead for Ks, knowing they would take the lead through a converted score, and that is exactly what they did. After numerous phases and occasional scrappy play, Brighten fed the ball back to Whinney who chipped over the top after spotting a gap in behind. The bounce fell kindly and he rounded the full back to dive in under the posts.
Whinney converted his score to put Ks into the lead for the first time.
Kesteven furthered their lead through Brighten who superbly sniped in from just inside the 22 to cross over. The conversion drifted just wide, but Ks now had a seven-point cushion.
Kesteven were convinced they scored again after some nifty footballing skills from Eagle meant he could dive over and touch down, but the referee ruled it out, claiming Eagle had not applied enough downward pressure on the ball.
As the half drew on, the home side came again. Pressure from the Lincoln pack challenged Ks up front, and the pressure proved too much. Again, laziness in defence meant that Lincoln could stroll in unopposed from a penalty under the posts. The conversion tied the game up and that is how it ended.
Kesteven: Addlesee, Tapson, Stanton, Bailey, Chessum, Norsworthy, Hodgson, Brighten, Whinney, Taylor, Eagle, Pirie, Green, Udom, Nel, Gajdzinski.