Kettering and Loughborough fought out an entertaining draw before a large and enthusiastic crowd at the weekend.
The Blues probably should have won, having outscored their opponents 5 tries to 4, but in the end with both sides claiming the bonus point for 4 tries, had to settle for 3 points each.
Kettering started the brighter and Joe Newman scored the first try after 2 minutes when pressure on the Loughborough backs led to a turnover, which Newman recovered and sped through under the posts. Joe Daniel, who had a rare off day with the boot, converted the try. Daniel then extended the lead on 5 minutes with a penalty as things looked bad for the visitors.
The Blues defence, however, was giving cause for concern and Loughborough took full advantage of some poor tackling to score 2 tries and then kick a penalty to take the lead as the game switched from one end to the other.
As half-time approached Tom Poole scored a try to level things up and then Kev Osborne smashed his way through the visitors mid-field and the Blues showed great continuity for fellow prop, Josh Cox to take the final pass and score a fine try, on the half-time whistle to give the Blues a 20-15 lead at the break.
With Kettering looking likely to score at the start of the 2nd half, a timely interception by the visitors outside centre saw them race 90 metres up the field to score a converted try and regain the lead. Back came the Blues and Paul Sumner scored on 55 minutes, only for Loughborough to equalise with a penalty 10 minutes later.
Ben Street seemed to have wrapped things up in the 70 minute with the Blues 5th try, but with time running out the visitors launched another attack and scored wide out on the left to once again draw level.
With little time left both sides did their best to force a result, but at the end of this pulsating tie had to settle for a share of the spoils.