Midlands League 2
Melton Mowbray 0
Newly-promoted Kesteven made an impressive start in their higher league debut, resplendent in their new kit sponsored by QV Foods of Spalding.
The early exchanges were fairly even as both sides got to grips with the game. Kesteven showed their intent to play at pace and from the first penalty awarded in front of the posts, Chris Galloway tapped and ran. Melton had not retreated and from the next award Galloway kicked the first points.
This settled the home team and they were able to press Melton back into their own 22. One loose clearing kick was gathered by Whittaker 40 metres out. The young full back skipped and danced through the on-rushing defence to score a fine individual try. Galloway converted to open up a 10-point lead.
The visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game as they spent some time in the Kesteven half. Their heavy forwards were able to rumble on but the Kesteven defence was sound. They conceded a penalty which Melton looked to have converted but the referee disallowed the goal for an infringement by the kicker.
This was to prove crucial as moments later Will Bradley wrapped up a Melton player in a classic smother tackle and robbed him of the ball to break clear and score and give Ks a 15-point cushion.
Turner was next to score with a fine try after good lead-up work by Cann, before Galloway added the bonus point try with a great clean break. Bradley was the creator of the next try with a fine break up the touch line. He slipped the ball inside to the supporting Whittaker who once again manufactured space out of nothing to power his way over for the try. Galloway continued his success with the boot to bring the half time score to 36-0.
Kesteven got off to a great start after the break. Bradley picked up a loose ball and scored his second try with ease. Turner then got his second in support of a break by Galloway. Ks finished the game off when Turner broke clear on halfway and outpaced a tired Melton defence to complete his hat trick. Galloway continued his near perfect goal kicking performance by converting all three second half tries.
Kesteven: Whittaker, J. Hughes, Bradley, Cann, Taylor, Galloway, Wood, Sheardown, Hayward, Purvis, Pert, Carew, Webster, Woolerton, Turner. Reps: Martin, Cowley, Odams.
Kesteven’s first XV are pictured from left, back – James Cowley, Martin Carew, Will Pert and Will Bradley; middle – Harry Martin, Aaron Whitaker, Chris Galloway, Keiran Taylor, Scott Odams and Malcolm Turner; front – Will Cann, Tony Woolerton, Robert Sheardown, captain Tom Webster, Dan Turner, Gavin Purvis, Olly Wood and Jake Hughes