Kettering’s promotion hopes were severely dented on Saturday as they were well beaten by a Paviors side who seemed to want the win more than did their hosts and as much as the Blues ‘huffed and puffed’ there was to be only one winner of this crucial game in the quest for the runners-up spot in Midlands 1!
As early as the third minute Paviors were in front with a penalty and although it was to be another 30 minutes before the next score it was obvious that Kettering were a little short of confidence and attacking ideas in order to break down a resolute Paviors defence. When the next score did come it was a try from the visitors numbers 8 who found a hole in the defence as he supported a backs move to score near the posts, the kick was good. The Blues needed to respond quickly and this they did with Joe Daniel
kicking a penalty but well into injury time the Paviors fly half was again on target with another penalty to restore the ten point gap.
Kettering started the second half looking to get back into the game as quickly as possible but were made to pay for some sloppy play and missed tackles as the Paviors fly half was allowed to run free to score and convert his own try. The Blues to their credit tried to get their game going, and this was not helped when Louis Hackett
was yellow carded, but all this effort on the day it was to no avail it seemed until with time running out scrum half Alex Smit found some space at last to score an unconverted try.
The visitors though were to have the last word and with the game again well into injury time (where did the referee find it all from) Paviors made sure of the win as their second row suddenly found himself put into the gap for a try under the posts, the kick was converted and the final whistle was blown on what was a poor day at the office.
Kettering travel to Spalding next week knowing that nothing but a ‘bonus point’ win will be good enough to hold onto second place in the league, but also the players know that they have to lift their performance back to the heights which saw them seemingly certain of the runners-up spot if not a tilt at the championship just a few weeks ago.