Midlands League 3
Aylestone St James 17
Kesteven travelled into Leicestershire for their latest match and it was clear from the beginning that they were in for a tough encounter against very physical opponents.
Ks took a little time to settle whilst the home side missed an early penalty attempt, and it took a further 15 minutes before the first score came.
Durrance was the scorer taking a pass from Morgan to go in for the opening try. Whittaker missed the conversion but he was soon on the scoresheet himself. Aylestone were penalised and Turner took a quick tap to send Whittaker in.
The home team had a heavy pack and were able to make some ground. They drove over for a try on the half hour mark to narrow the gap to five points.
But before the break, Kesteven were able to gain some breathing space with two more tries, first by Turner after a run by Whittaker, then Whittaker got the bonus point try, taking a scoring pass from Wood. Whittaker at last found his range and popped over the conversion to turn round 22-5 ahead.
The home team raised the temperature of the game after the break at the expense of their discipline and had players in the sin bin after five and nine minutes of the half.
While they were short-handed, Turner added his second try in support of Morgan, then Harland intercepted a pass on his own 22 to run in from long range and score. Whittaker converted both to put the game out of reach.
Aylestone were still keen to take the game to Kesteven but they were again undone with an interception. This time it was Odams who stole the ball and raced 80 metres to score.
The home side added a couple of tries, one converted, as they tried to salvage a bonus point. But Kesteven had the last word when man-of-the-match Mark Sayle took a pass from Dingley. Whittaker added the extra points.
Kesteven: Wood, Lines, Whittaker, Dingley, R. Jordan, Parker, Morgan, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Pert, Sayle, M. Clift-Hill, Durrance, Turner. Reps: A. Clift-Hill, Harland, Osborne.
Kesteven’s first competitive Shield game of the season saw them face a strong Scunthorpe team on a wet morning at Woodnook.
Ks started strongly and immediately made inroads into Scunthorpe’s half, with the forwards winning great possession. The backs made great use of the clean ball and it was not long till the pressure paid off when Parker finished of a superb give and go to score in the corner.
Scunthorpe came back strongly from the kick-off but the Ks defence held firm and caused the visitors to concede a number of knock-ons that allowed the home team to clear their lines.
Scunthorpe continued to push hard and were awarded an attacking scrum within Ks’ 22-yard area, but they could not capitalise on the pressure as Eagle took his second ball against the head for the home side, which allowed Archer to break superbly and run the entire length of the pitch to score under the posts. Whinney kicked the conversion for a 12-0 half time lead.
The visiting side started the second half strongly and camped firmly in the Kesteven half, and were only held back by some strong defence led by Cousins’ fearsome tackling. They got within 10 yards of the line and looked certain to score, only to be turned over by the black pack who won themselves another scrum against the head.
From the resulting scrum, Ks were blown for feeding and Scunthorpe’s pressure was finally rewarded with a try and conversion from the resulting free kick.
From the kick off, Ks regained the momentum and began to win the lion’s share of possession, taking them deep into Scunthorpe’ half and their pressure won them a scrum 10 yards from the visitors’ line.
From the scrum, Pirie picked up and crashed over for the try which Whinney was able to convert.
Scunthorpe again came back strongly and scored another try in reply, but they were unable to kick the conversion.
This rallied the home side for the final 10 minutes and Casey, who came on at half time, finished off some superb back and forwards play to score in the corner.