RUGBY: Strengthened Kesteven suffer local derby defeat at Newark

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Midlands League 2

East (North)

Newark 20

Kesteven 11

Kesteven were pleased to welcome back some of their injured players for this match and it was great to see Tony Woolerton return to the side.

The injury problems were still there, however, when Olly Wood dropped out after he failed a last minute test on his shoulder. Jack Stokes came off the bench to fill the gap at centre.

The Kesteven side looked much stronger and were giving as good as they got. The pack were a match for their opponents with Turner and Cowley looking strong.

The first scoring chance came after a fine run by Ollie Hughes took play to the Newark 22. The home defence came off side and Galloway opened the scoring with the penalty.

Newark came back strongly and forced Kesteven to concede a penalty which just squeezed in at the post to equalise.

Ks again took play up into the home half. Good work by Whitaker caused panic in the home side and a second penalty followed quickly. Galloway again obliged with a fine kick to regain the lead. This was to last almost till half time.

A searching kick by Newark saw Kesteven carry the ball over their own line and from the five metre scrum Newark won the ball and moved it into their backs. Their impressive centre ran straight and broke the Kesteven defence to score at the posts. The simple conversion gave Newark a 10-6 advantage at the break.

In the second half, play was again pretty even but there were signs that the Newark pack were winning more ball and they were able to keep Kesteven pinned in their own half. Ks were defending well but, 15 minutes into the half, Pirie was judged to have tackled a Newark player late and was sent to the sin bin.

Newark took advantage and made the extra man count with a try two minutes later. The conversion failed abutnd Newark now had a nine point lead.

Kesteven showed good resilience and got back into the game with a piece of pure opportunism. Newark were penalised for pushing early at a scrum 30 metres out. Turner snatched the ball and took a quick tap to race over in the corner before anyone realised what was happening.

Ks won a further penalty and kicked to the corner but the line-out was lost and the chance was gone.

Newark had a couple of late chances and they were able to add a third try. They should have had a fourth but their centre knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Kesteven spent the last five minutes with some possession but they were not able to close the gap to earn the bonus point their play deserved. Wood came on with five minutes left to try to spark that effort but his injury was too much and he came off to be replaced by Pert.

Young Callum Scuffham showed his support for the vlub by stepping on to the bench at the last minute.

Kesteven: Whitaker, Miles, Hughes, Stokes, Cox, Galloway, Addlesee, Cowley, Sheardown, Purvis, Vincent, Pirie, Butler, Woolerton, Turner. Reps: Wood, Pert, Scuffham.

This week, Kesteven welcome Notts Casuals to Woodnook, kick-off 2pm.