Midlands League 2
Kesteven welcomed their old boys to Woodnook for the annual club reunion and the sun shone brightly as the two teams took the field.
Kesteven fielded the kick-off and steadily worked their way upfield. Dronfield won an early turnover and took play up to the home 22 where they won a penalty as the Kesteven backs strayed offside at a ruck. The kick was successful to give the visitors an early lead.
From the restart, Dronfield were penalised and Dan Turner landed a good goal from 35 metres to level the scores.
Kesteven were keen to move the ball wide and made several good runs, with Turner prominent, but they were unable to get the vital break.
Dronfield had a very good player at 13 and he broke through with a strong straight run to set up a try after 15 minutes to retake the lead.
Kesteven kept on the offensive but were unable to add to their score as two penalties drifted wide.
The Dronfield centre then made his mark with a couple more runs as the visitors scored two more tries to take a comfortable lead of 24-3 at the break.
Ks really took the game to Dronfield in the second half and the pressure eventually told when Scott Odams forced his way over for a close range try on 52 minutes. He repeated the feat four minutes later as Kesteven closed the gap. Wood made a clean break to send Whittaker in for his try.
Dronfield were in disarray now and had a player sent off for a dangerous tackle before Hayward found Taylor with a great pass for the young wing to beat his man and race in at the corner. All four tries were unconverted and the lead was now just a single point with 15 minutes remaining.
Kesteven tails were up now but Dronfield got a grip of their game and scored with a couple of late penalties to finally extinguish some great Kesteven spirit.
Kesteven: Whittaker, Taylor, Cann, Goodrich, P. Jordan, Parker, Wood, Odams, Hayward, P. Dolan, Pert, Carew, Cann, Woolerton, Turner. Reps: Sayle, Peabody, Dent.
Kesteven 2nd 27
Sleaford 2nd 18
With Kesteven taking time to gel, they were in a little defensive disarray when Sleaford scored the first try wide on the left following a neat kick through from their stand-off.
Ks did not panic and came straight back with some strong running from the forwards Peabody, Ash and Coghill in particular. Soon a scrum was won close to the Sleaford line and Andy Peabody picked up from the back and had the power to force over the line for the score.
Centre pair Windsor and Price combined to set full back Will Young free to score in the corner. Ks had other opportunities to convert in the first half but were unable to find the right pass.
Down to 14 men after Danny Williams was yellow carded, Ks began the second half aggressively on the front foot, keeping the ball in the forwards. As soon as Kesteven were back up to a full 15, the ball was thrown wide to Ollie McKeag who had a simple run in to the corner for his second try in two weeks.
This gave the home side confidence and they started to play with freedom. Williams was keen to make up for his enforced 10 minute rest and was demanding the ball,. When he eventually received it, he used his pace to race past the covering defence from 60 metres out, and neatly step the full back to complete the score at the posts. Harland kicked the conversion.
Ks were not done and continued to batter away at the tiring Sleaford defence, and it was Ash who bounced through three Sleaford defenders to complete a great try.
To their credit, Sleaford came back but only as a result of Kesteven errors. First a loose pass at the scrum and then a quick tap penalty resulted in tries for Sleaford who were good value for their points.
Kesteven: Shields, Brown, Osbourne, Hanson, Coghill, Flear, R. Dolan, Peabody, Lamb, Harland, Williams, A. Price, Windsor, Charles, Young, Reps: McKeag, Midgley.
NLD Cup semi-final
Kesteven cruised through to the NLD Cup final in which they will face Mansfield at Lincoln RFC on March 30.
Ks had a couple of knock-ons and some penalties awarded against them for infringements, but a considerable number of line breaks and effective offloads lead to Kesteven scoring four tries in quick succession.
The lads put their bodies on the line to make some try-saving tackles, and great defensive line speed meant that even Melbourne’s strongest runners were struggling to make yards as Ks went into half time 27-0 up.
The second half was a similar story with Kesteven continuing with a high intensity. A short period passed where Melbourne were able to protect their try line but it was not long until some powerful Kesteven running brought additional points. Although at this stage a Kesteven ‘win’ was inevitable, they were relentless and added more points to the scoreboard.
With 15 minutes remaining, Kesteven had been pushed back on to their own try line. Their defence had been inpenetrable all game and this was not going to stop now.
Even with a yellow card awarded against them due to handling in the ruck, their defensive line could not be broken and from 10 metres off their own line a quick turnover of the ball ended up in Kesteven scoring with some great support running.
Try scorers wre Adams, Allen, Bowers (3), Butler, Fletcher, Shennan and Taggart. Conversion were kicked by Fletcher (1) and Grinney(3), who also slotted a penalty.
Kesteven enjoyed most of the possession for the first half but Lincoln’s strong campaign got the ball touched down for the first try of the game. This was not converted and was landed shortly before the half time whistle.
Kesteven re-started with the wind behind them and Edwards found that he needed to re-adjust to this. Kesteven also experienced how their line-out throw could be blown into Lincoln’s possession
Wainwright made a blistering break, which came from a Kesteven scrum. This then led to Cox and Taylor linking well and then offloading to Fuller who put down a well-fought Kesteven try.
Kesteven: Brenton, Brighten, B. Cole, J. Cole, Cox, Del Brocco, Edwards, Fuller, Hodgson, Hughes, Moth, Palin, Parr, Peters, Kwasau, Rogerson, Sheardown, Spriggs, A. Tapson, T. Tapson, Taylor (c).
Kesteven won their return fixture at Southwell in a good test before next week’s NLD Shield semi-final.
But it was the home side that opened the scoring when their winger broke through several tackles to score in the corner.
K rallied well and Pirie got them back into the game with a break from a scrum. Then Ethan Archer got the ball in space and rounded the Southwell defence to score a great try out wide.
Danny Moore followed another Pirie break to score and the half was rounded off when Pirie broke through for his second. Moore converted one for a 22-5 half time lead.
A determined Southwell rallied and scored their second through the opposite wing following some good passing in the centres.
Ks upped their game again and Archer scored his second before Lewis Cousin scored the try of the morning, catching the kick-off and outpacing the Southwell defence to score under the posts. Pirie rounded the game off with another score from a tap penalty. Ks added two further tries.
Man of the match was Lewis Cousin for his all round work around the pitch and try.
Kesteven: Archer, Bacon, Cant, Cousin, Desmond, Donnelly, Eagle, Green, Kershaw, Knibbs, Lee, Moore, Norsworthy, Parker, Pirie, Simpson, Sweeney, Thomas, Whinney, Wright.
West Bridgford 5 Kesteven 20
West Bridgford 0 Kesteven 25
West Bridgford 10 Kesteven 20
In the first game, Kesteven got off to a good start with an excellent catch from Oscar B. But soon after West Bridgford came through with a good first try.
Ks upped their game and scored two tries before half time. Great tackling from Daniel K. and good work between the fronts and the backs enabled Kesteven to score a further two tries – both courtesy of man-of-the-match Geordie Irvine.
The next match was also a great win for Kesteven, doing wonders for their confidence as a team.
Two tries before half time and a further three after completed the rout. They were scored by Jonny M. (2), Geordie I., Daniel K. and Daniel B.
The final match saw impressive passing, communication, tackling and all round good rugby.
Bridgford scored two tries but this was not enough for a win as Kesteven managed four, scored by Geordie I., Declan B., Joseph and Daniel K.