Midlands League 3
Kesteven welcomed their former players to Woodnook for the annual reunion day.
The home team were keen to keep their push for promotion on target and took the lead after just four minutes when Jordan Payne forced his way over for the opening try. Whittaker kicked the conversion to set them on their way.
Chesterfield hit back quickly with a good try and honours were pretty even as both teams played good open rugby.
After 16 minutes, Kesteven increased their lead when Wood finished off a flowing move by Aspinall with a try and, immediately after, Cowley was set clear by Whittaker to score the third try. Whittaker added the extras and Kesteven were in the clear.
Just before the break, Cartwright added the all important bonus point try after a break by Whittaker who also added the conversion to take the score to 24-5.
After the break, Kesteven kept up the pressure with two more quickfire tries. First, Goodrich scored after a break by Parker, and then Parker took advantage of good play by Wood to add a sixth try. Whittaker converted both for a commanding 38-5 lead.
Chesterfield never gave up and got back into the game with two tries of their own to narrow the gap.
But the home team had the last word when Parker kept the ball alive following a run by Whittaker to give the wing the scoring pass, allowing Whittaker to complete the scoring. His conversion sealed a fine win.
James Cowley was named as man of the match for a storming performance, chosen by three of the former players.
Kesteven: Wood, Aspinall, Cartwright, Goodrich, Whittaker, Parker, Addlesee, Odams, Sheardown, Purvis, Sayle, Cowley, Payne, Woolerton, Webster. Reps: Pert, Vincent, Cole.
Kesteven 2nd 17
West Bridgford 2nd 52
A warm day kicked off with West Bridgford immediately on the front foot and gaining easy territory in the Kesteven half.
They were soon on the scoresheet, crossing over with alarming ease as Kesteven’s usual tight defence disintegrated.
There was little Ks could do with the visitors’ dynamic offloading game and it was not long before they were working further opportunities and scored two more quickfire tries.
Finally Kesteven did get into the game, and looked dangerous with the ball and ran at Bridgford.
Danny Turner was dangerous in the loose and broke free and managed to offload out of the tackle to Ed Cole for a good try.
This should have given the home side confidence but, straight from the kick-off, Bridgford were at it again, breaking tackles and offloading when tied up, meaning Ks were all to often clutching at thin air. More tries followed with seemingly little answer to the onslaught.
With a strong wind behind them, when Ks did get the ball they were content to kick long to the corner. This eventually paid dividends as Harland sent one kick booming fully 60 metres for a five-metre line-out on the Bridgford line. Turner took a clever short line-out at the front and jinked and sidestepped to break the line for a smart individual try which Harland converted well.
The half time whistle sounded with Kesteven down but not out if they could play to their strengths. But sadly for Ks, it was more of the same in the second half, as all too often, decent position and possession was squandered and, with Bridgford quick to break, more tries quickly came for the Nottingham side.
Kesteven more than raised their level in the second half, with Bridgford having less ball to play with, but desperate play often ended up in turnover ball, which Bridgford were lethal at capitalising on.
A sustained period of pressure ended with Bridgford conceding a run of penalties, from which Mark Dent was able to score a final try for the battered home side.
Bridgford again seemed aggrieved to have had their line crossed again, and set up a couple more well worked tries against a visibly tired Kesteven defence.