Midlands League 3
Notts Casuals 28
KESTEVEN hosted league leaders Notts Casuals at Woodnook in their first home game of the New Year.
The home team welcomed back Grant Ward, Andy Peabody, Dom Brister and Richard Midgely to the team and it was Peabody who made an immediate impact. He fielded the kick-off, made 20 metres and from the first scrum Casuals were penalised to give Danny Turner an early shot at goal. He used the wind well to slot the goal
The game settled down with Ks using the wind to pin Casuals back. Kesteven mixed up the game well and exended their lead after 20 minutes. The forwards turned over good ball in the Casuals half. Wood fed Dan Turner on the right. Turner feinted to cut inside then fed a perfect pass to Grant Ward on the wing and the youngster squeezed in at the corner for a fine try.
Kesteven then added another try minutes later. Turner found a good touch 10 metres out and from the line-out Hayward charged for the line. He was held up but Odams was on hand to force his way over. Turner added the goal and was instrumental in setting up the third try shortly after.
Ks fielded the restart and found Turner deep in his own half. Again the Turner/Ward combination came good. This time Ward took the pass on half way and shaped to go inside but swerved outside and used his pace to race in. Turner’s conversion attempt was caught in the wind and drifted wide.
With half time looming, Kesteven’s 20-0 lead was reduced with Casuals’ one last effort in the half worked over for a try just before the break.
Casuals had the benefit of the wind in the second half and kept Ks in their own half for long spells. They inched their way back into the game with a penalty and two tries to close the gap to two points with 15 minutes left.
Kesteven rang the changes as Brister, Cooper and Odams were replaced by Coghill, Windsor and Paton. Kesteven had few chances but were always ready to run out of defence. Natham Turner at full back was creating chances and one such break released Ward again.
The situation did not look promising but the youngster again created space out of nothing and was able to complete his hat trick and extend the lead to 25-18.
Casuals however again responded with another try wide out to close the gap to two points again. They threw the kitchen sink at Ks and got their reward with a winning try when their forwards forced their way over in the last minute to break Kesteven hearts.
Kesteven: N. Turner, Ward, P. Jordan, Cooper, O’Brien, D. Turner, Wood, Odams, Hayward, Bennett, Pert, Cowley, Midgely, Peabody, Brister. Reps: Paton, Coghill, Windsor.
Notts Pennant League
Bakewell 2nd 60
Kesteven 2nd 14
WITH 13 players, plus one loaned from Bakewell, Kesteven won the toss and captain Brett Login elected to play into the wind on the slightly boggy pitch.
With the Ks’ journey still in the legs, Bakewell took advantage and managed to run in a fair few tries without much problem, using the two-man advantage perfectly and hitting Kesteven out wide.
Martin North arrived late to bolster numbers but that was short-lived when Andy Price was forced to retire due to a back injury.
The remainder of the half saw more Bakewell posession and as well as Kesteven defended they were unable to stop the inevitable tries from coming. There were some good passages of Kesteven play in this half in particular a sweet chip and gather from Ben Betts who again showed his strong running abilities. James Garlant dominated at the lineout with Mark Herbert taking every ball thrown to the tail and making superb yards. Eddie Dovey put in an immense hit on one Bakewell player.
After the break, Garlant again rose majesticly to take the ball from a line-out five metres out. He was supported superbly by his forward and they rumbled and rolled to the line where Herbert saw the gap and timed his dive perfectly to take man and ball over the line. Login slotted the conversion from wide out.
Ks again managed to set up a driving maul 10 metres from the Bakewell line and showing superb control of the ball, Herbert for the second time in the match found his way over the line for the try. Once again Brett Login managed to slot a tricky converion.
Bakewell continued to rack up some tries but Kesteven continued their forward dominance and again drove wave after wave at the Bakewell side, but were held up over the line on more than one occasion.
Man of the match Dovey, who ran his heart out all game, was held up over the line and put in an audacious chip to force the same full back already embarrassed by Mark Herbert to knock on as he saw the big prop looking to gather his own chip. steven can look to eran some league points with a victory.
Kesteven: Dovey, Login, Davies, Garlant, Arnold, Herbert, D. Davies, Price, Charles, Betts, R. Dolan, North, Blackley.
KESTEVEN spent the first half playing into a strong wind which made it difficult to gain territory.
Although often penned back into their own 22, Ks rucked and mauled hard against a larger pack and Sleaford were often over-eager in possession, scoring only once.
Ks’ backs were repeatedly courageous in the tackle against the opposition’s big forwards, with Bijay Gaire and Robert Wyatt prominent.
Kesteven were more progressive after the break but struggled to create any real pressure from limited possession, Tom Mawer’s solo break from a tap penalty being the best opportunity. Sleaford’s direct approach eventually wore down Ks’ defence and they scored twice more.
Kesteven: Watts, Lord, Gaire, Wyatt, Moody, Mawer, Campbell, Stewart, Knott, Rowland, Jakes, Coyle, Del Brocco, Morrison, Leese, Davies, Gopal, Smith-Evans, Johnson.