Midlands League 3
Kesteven travelled to Derbyshire for their penultimate league match.
Injuries and unavailability led to a number of changes in the starting line-up with Curtis Dingley coming in at stand off, and Rob Cann and Tony Woolerton returning to the pack.
It all started very well for Kesteven with the opening try coming after just two minutes. James Goodrich carved out the opening and released Tom Miles who ran in to score.
However, it took time for the side to make progress on the scoreboard. Both sides were making many mistakes through handling errors and the referee was kept busy.
The Belper kicker was struggling to find his range and missed a couple of penalties before Will Cann was able to extend the Kesteven lead with a well judged penalty.
Gavin Purvis made a welcome return from injury as replacement for Armstron then, on the half hour mark Olly Wood, who had slotted in well at full back, was able to create room for Tom Miles to register his second try.
The rest of the half was difficult for Kesteven. Charlie Pirie was sent to the sin bin for collapsing a maul in a dangerous position and Belper capitalised immediately by opening their account with a try to take the score to 13-5 at the break.
In the second half, Belper immediately cut the defecit to a single point with a good try which was converted. This caused Kesteven some concern as they still needed to come away with the win to take the championship to the last game.
Pirie returned to the field and this galvanised the team but there was further disruption as James Goodrich retired injured, to be replaced by Aspinal, and then Vincent came on for Pert.
The pack were starting to get on top and Draper was able to take advantage to send Tony Wooerton in for the try. The conversion was missed and it was a nervy six point advantage as Ks set out for the bonus point try.
It didn’t come but they were able to extend their lead to nine with another Will Cann penalty.
Indiscipline had an impact in the last 10 minutes as first Belper had a man sent to the sin bin before Dan Turner suffered a similar fate.
There was still time for an exchange of penalties which brought the curtain down on an untidy match.
Kesteven were pleased to come away with the win and now look forward to the final match against Boston on Saturday.
Kesteven: Wood, Miles, W. Cann, Goodrich, Hughes, Dingley, Draper, Sheardown, R. Cann, Osborne, Pirie, Pert, Woolerton, Armstrong, Turner. Reps: Purvis, Vincent, Aspinal.