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1st XV - Match centre

Bedford Athletic
Sat 23 Sep 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 1 (East) Full time

Blues are kicking themselves

Kettering missed a great opportunity to lower the flag of title favourites Bedford Athletic, outscoring their hosts by 4 tries to 3, but still losing 21-20, as all the Blues conversions were missed.

The game couldn't have started any worse, as poor tackling let the home side through to open the scoring with a well taken converted try to lead 7-0 with barely a minute played. Indeed, the Ath dominated the early exchanges and could have extended their lead before the Blues began their fightback.
A series of penalties led to a lineout near the Bedford line and the Blues controlled the drive to see Steve Fraher cross for an unconverted try. Back came the home side, and once again, basic one on one tackles were missed and the hosts excellent backline took full advantage to score wide out on the right. Once again, the try was skillfully converted by James Mortimer, and the home lead was extended to 14-5.
The game was now much more of an even contest and when Archie Toseland charged down a clearance kick, the Blues man of the match followed up himself to score the visitors second try. Crucially, Bruce Keir's conversion hit the post and the score stayed at 14-10 at the break.
As the game wore on Kettering began to exert more pressure on the home side, and a fine piece of play saw Toseland break down the short-side and feed back inside for Billy Burrell to cross for the Blues third try to take the lead 15-14. Once again the kick was unsuccessful and when the ever dangerous Woodhead weaved his way through for a converted try, the home side were back in the lead 21-15.
The final score came from another driven lineout, with Alex Bayley this time scoring for the Blues to secure the 4 try bonus point and bring them within a point with the conversion to come. This time, skipper Harry Owens stepped up, but his kick went the same way as the other 3 and the home side saw out the rest of the game to win by the narrowest of margins.

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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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