Notts Lincs & Derbys Shield
Kesteven opened their season against Bakewell at a rain soaked Woodnook.
The team was on familiar lines but with newcomer Jack Stokes coming into the side for his debut. Martyn Parker was starting his 24th season for the club while Chris Warden made his debut at 17 years of age.
Kesteven started at top speed, intent on imposing themselves on the game early on. Despite having most of possession, they were unable to break through. Bakewell defended well and eventually got out of their own half.
Will Wood, making his first team start, was unlucky to have to leave the field after eight minutes, to be replaced by Chris Warden.
A couple of forays up to the Kesteven 22 saw Bakewell win won and convert a penalty. Play became more even but handling was becoming difficult in the rain. Bakewell won a lineout on the home 22 and claimed the ball. Their centre came through at a fine angle to take a pass to run in for the first try of the match. The conversion opened up a 10 point lead.
Kesteven kept trying to play rugby but it took a piece of magic from Aaron Whittaker to open their account. A loose kick from Bakewell was gathered by Whittaker on his own 22. He ran to halfway and expertly kicked ahead to outpace the defence to score. Olly Wood converted to close the gap to three points.
Charlie Pirie was next to leave the field with an injury, to be replaced by Richard Armstrong This should have settled the home side but just on the break Bakewell again found space and broke through for their second try. The conversion made the half time score Kesteven 7 Bakewell 17.
Kesteven would have expected to pick up their game but it was Bakewell who increased their lead with a penalty. The gap was becoming a concern but Kesteven were soon able to reduce the deficit. James Goodrich made a fine run up the middle but chose to run through rather than round the full back.
From the next phase of possession Olly Wood chipped through but the Bakewell defence were able to clear the danger. From the resulting drop out, Adam Draper got the ball and found Danny Turner in support. Turner ran a fine arcing line to go over for the try at the posts. Olly Wood converted to narrow the gap to six. It was clear that Bakewell were tiring as the straight running from the home side took its toll. One fine run from Whittaker took play close to the Bakewell line. The forwards took over and with Sheardown and Odams lining up in the backs, Odams was delighted to take the pass from Sheardown to go over.
Kesteven were awarded a penalty 30 metres out, in front of the posts. Olly Wood stepped up and calmly slotted the ball over the bar.
Ady Ward came on to replace Osborne as Ks were now in the lead. It didn’t last long, as from the restart Kesteven failed to control the ball and in the confusion Bakewell were awarded a penalty of their own. The kick just crept in as Bakewell regained the lead.
But this Kesteven side are made of stern stuff and they went back on the attack. A further penalty by Olly Wood was forced just too much, but possession was won back.
With some patience, the home side pounded forward and eventually Turner got his hands on the ball some 20 metres out. He ran strongly, brushing off attempted tackles and finished off under the posts with three defenders hanging on to him. Olly Wood converted with the last kick of the match to record a fine win.
Kesteven: W. Wood, Goodrich, Whittaker, O. Wood, Miles, Parker, Draper, Odams, Sheadown, Osborne, Vincent, Tweddle, Pirie, Turner, Stokes. Reps: Ward, Armstrong, Warden.