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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 2 Sep 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 1 (East) Full time

Blues start with a bonus point win

Kettering began the league season with a bonus point win over a much improved Paviors side, who gave a really good account of themselves, particularly in the first period.

The Blues started well and Joe Daniel was successful with a penalty after only 2 minutes to give the home side an early lead. Paviors, however, hit back and some good handling saw them outflank the Blues defence to score wide in the left corner for an unconverted try, to lead 5-3.
The early exchanges were hard fought as both teams tried to exert pressure and gain the upper hand. The Blues were next to strike, when slick handling and an incisive break by Joe Newman saw the centre offload to Jordan Butlin for the home sides open try. Daniel added the extra's to give the lead back to Kettering, 10-5.
Paviors responded with a penalty, before Jack Owens crashed over in support of another Newman surge. Daniel again converted to open up a 17-8 lead heading to the break. This wasn't the end of the half however, and the Paviors wingers persistence and some poor tackling led to a second, unconverted try for the visitors to close the gap to 17-13 at half-time.
The Blues came out in determined fashion at the start of the 2nd half, and would have scored early on but for some indifferent handling out wide. However, it wasn't long before Brett Sturgess crossed, finding a hole in the Paviors defence. Daniel again converted to bring the score to 24-13 in the Blues favour.
At the point Kettering were in full control and the visitors were finding it difficult to get out of their 22, other than by kicking the ball off the park. The game was effectively over, when the impressive Newman broke through in mid-field and outpaced the cover defence for a fine individual score, which Daniel converted to see the Blues secure their bonus point and lead 31-13, going into the final quarter.
The game now stagnated somewhat, and the Blues lost their way. Over complication and some poor decision making saw the visitors intercept and run in for their third try, which was converted to close the gap to 31-20.
The home side re-grouped and had the final say, when Alex Bayley muscled his way over from short range. The in-form Daniel converting to bring the final score to Kettering 38-20 Paviors.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Bedford Athletic 26 117
2. Syston 26 114
3. Kettering 26 105
4. Paviors 26 90
5. Old Northamptonians 26 84
6. Peterborough 26 71
7. Oundle 26 70

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