RUGBY: Kesteven take heart from loss to leaders

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Midlands League 3

East (North)

Kesteven 14

Long Eaton 48

Kesteven welcomed league leaders Long Eaton to Woodnook for their first visit for some years.

The visitors looked to be a strong side with some experienced players in their ranks. They wasted no time in taking the lead early on when their speedy backs found space and finished off a move with a try out left. The conversion failed but the visitors had laid down a marker.

Ten minutes later, they added a second try and this time the conversion was good.

Kesteven responded well. The forwards, with Purvis and Turner prominent, made some good ground and forced a penalty.

Galloway kicked to the corner and from the line-out Ks scored a deceptively simple try. Tweddle won the ball and fed Purvis who peeled round the front to go over unopposed. It was a well worked score. Galloway added the goal points to narrow the gap.

Long Eaton, however, finished the half strongly to add a third try which was converted to give them a 19-7 lead at the break.

In the second half, Kesteven had some good moments but it was the visitors who were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over. They scored early, then Kesteven defended well for the next 20 minutes before the visitors scored again.

Kesteven kept playing good rugby and were rewarded when Turner finished off fine work by the pack to go over. Galloway converted and Kesteven had an incentive to go for a bonus point.

Long Eaton, with their speedy young backs running well, were able to take advantage of any loose ball to run in a further three tries. The last try came in the fifth minute of injury time to put a shine on the final score.

Kesteven will take some hope from this performance. Draper and Galloway were very lively at half back, whilst Cox and Betts on the wings tackled well. In the pack, Purvis led by example and was well supported by Turner, Tweddle and Stokes.

This week, Kesteven make the trip to Mansfield for the first league game between these two well established clubs for many years.

Kesteven: Hall, Betts, Cann, Halliday, Cox, Galloway, Draper, Stedman, Cowley, Purvis, Pert, Tweddle, Stokes, Armstrong, Turner. Reps: Vincent, Hanson, Lines.