Midlands League 2
Bakewell Mannerians 16
Kesteven made the long trip to Derbyshire for the second time in as many weeks to play the rearranged fixture.
Having had some tough encounters over the last few weeks, Ks badly needed a win to offer some security in the new league.
The desire for a win was evident as Kesteven set up camp in the Bakewell 22m zone during the first 10 minutes of the game. Despite a number of strong runs from Martin Carew and Tony Woolerton, Bakewell held their lines well to deny them both tries. Woolerton succeeded in getting over the try line but the referee deemed the ball to have been held up.
On another attacking run, Kesteven chipped the ball over the Bakewell line and it was Sam Durrance that was able to win the scramble for the bouncing ball and touch it down for the visitors’ only try of the match. Matt Harland secured the conversion.
Kesteven noticeably began to sit back on their seven-point cushion and Bakewell capitalised by turning up their own heat and pressing the visitors back into their own 22. A number of missed tackles and poor defending on the fringes from Kesteven’s point of view, and an overwhelming attack of strength from Bakewell, saw the home side touch down for an unconverted try.
Bakewell’s forwards were now firing on all cylinders and gave the Kesteven front row a trying time in the scrums, making some very strong runs that saw Ks miss many tackles. After the Bakewell onslaught, Dan Turner was penalised for a dump tackle that was deemed dangerous and the home side secured the three point penalty kick to edge into the lead 8-7.
But then Kesteven were awarded a penalty after a Bakewell forward was deemed to have joined a ruck from the side and Harland kept his success rate at 100 per cent to secured the three points and regain the advantage.
The referee grew tired of Kesteven’s continued attempts to steal the ball from the floor in rucks and awarded Bakewell another penalty which put them back in front at half time.
The second half was similar to the first with constant exchanges by both sides in their attempts to try and secure a safe lead. A flash of hope flooded through the visiting side when young Kesteven full back and man of the match Aaron Whitaker made a darting run through the Bakewell defence to gain some 60-70m. But an equally quick Bakewell winger was able to pull him in to touch just feet away from the Bakewell try line.
Bakewell put in another thunderous attack and on this occasion they were able to touch down for an unconverted try.
Despite immense efforts from the visitors, two final attacks were spoilt by knock-ons and the very soon Kesteven were out of time, having to be grateful with a bonus point.
Kesteven: Sheardown (c), Hayward, Cowley, Sayle (Jnr), Carew, Durrance, Woolerton, Turner, Wood, Harland, Jordan, W. Cann, Bradley, Price, Whitaker. Replacements: Odams, R. Cann
Notts Pennant League
Kesteven 2nd 39
Mellish 2nd 19
Kesteven’s second string secured victory over Mellish 2nd at Woodnook to extend their undefeated run to five games.
Ks fought hard throughout the game and finished 39-0 up at half time.
With a number of changes brought on during the second half and a determined Mellish side, the visitors managed to rack up 19 points but the Kesteven power and defensive line ensured that the home side finished the game with a 20 point cushion and to go top of the table.
Kesteven: P. Dolan (c), Login, Shields, Hanson, Coghill, R. Dolan, Midgley, Peabody, Dent, Parker, J. Hughes, Cooper, Betts, Williams, Martin , Flear, Smith, Charles, Windsor, Young.
Long Eaton 5
Kesteven went behind when Long Eaton’s solid number number broke away and outstripped the covering defence to score under the posts.
Ks came back strongly with Matt Addlesee scoring from a strong run. Jack Pirie added a second when he picked up from the base of the scrum on the 22m line. Danny Moore intercepted when Long Eaton were under pressure and scored under the posts.
Pirie scored his second before half time from a quick tap penalty and Jake Wright rounded off the half with a score from a sniping run in the corner. Ben Whinney added a conversion to make the half time score 27-5.
Half time changes did not halt the impetus and Kesteved added second half tries through Pirie, Shelbourn, Moore, Wright and Donnelly. Moore converted one to round off a good performance.
Man of the match was awarded to Danny Moore for his work in the centre and donkey of the day went to Jack Pirie for tackling himself when through to score.
Kesteven: Addlesee, Archer, Bacon, Cant, Casey, Desmond, Donnelly, Eagle, Green, Kershaw, Lewicki, Moore, Norsworthy, Parker, Pirie, Shelbourn, Simpson, Sweeney, Thomas, Whinney, Wright.