RUGBY: Kesteven triumph in table-top clash at West Bridgford

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The match was expected to be a tight forward battle and so it proved. Strong defence was the order of the day

Midlands League 3

East (North)

West Bridgford 0

Kesteven 8

Kesteven had the benefit of the wind which blew diagonally across the field and they had the better of the half. Woolerton was in fine form at the base of the scrum and kept driving forward.

One period of good forward play had the home side in trouble and they conceded a penalty in front of the posts after 20 minutes. Parker stepped up to kick the goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

Miles replaced Brown before the break and soon brought his strength to bear as Kesteven built further pressure in the lead up to half time. The West Bridgford defence held out. The referee sent one player from each side to the sin bin for repeated infringements. This helped open up the game as the players became more aware of the off side line.

Kesteven started the second half with a bang. Woolerton again led from the front and broke the gain line. The support was superb and Olly Wood got good ball out to the backs. The ball was quickly passed out to the wing and Aaron Whittaker sped clear to go over in the corner to give the visitors an important eight-point lead.

The expected backlash from the home team did not materialise as Kesteven tackled like demons, with Phil Jordan in particularly good form. West Bridgford were reduced to kicking from deep but Olly Wood and Aaron Whittaker always seemed to be there to soak up the ball and set up more attacks.

Rob Cann and Brad Jepson came on to freshen the visiting team. Despite some good play, Kesteven were unable to add to their score. West Bridgford became more and more desperate and in the end Ks held out for a great win which was more comfortable than the final score suggested.

Olly Wood was awarded man of the match for Kesteven for an outstanding controlled display, whether it was keeping the ball alive or back defending. His reading of the play and being in the right position to clear the home team’s kicks was particularly impressive. Phil Jordan led the side by example with his tackling and the strength of running in attack.

In the pack, Woolerton was an important part of a very impressive back row, closely followed by Webster and Flear, while Carew used his experience to good effect.

Only points difference kept Kesteven from being top of the league, despite being the sole remaining unbeaten side.

Kesteven: Harland, Whittaker, P. Jordan, O. Hughes, J. Hughes, Parker, Wood, Odams, Brown, Purvis, Sheardown, Carew, Webster, Flear, Woolerton. Reps: Cann, Miles, Jepson.