Blues bounce back
By Doug Bridgeman
Kettering showed great character to recover from the disappointment of the previous games defeat to win an enthralling top of the table clash at home to Paviors, by 24-20.
Both sides came out with real intent and the first 10 minutes made it clear that this was going to be a close encounter. The Blues, however, were dominating terriotry and possession and, learning from the mistakes of the previous game, took the lead with a Joe Daniel penalty. 3-0
Further dominance led to a second DAniel penalty to double the lead before Paviors kicked a penalty of their own on 20 minutes to reduce the deficit to 3 points. 6-3.
Again the Blues enjoyed much of the territorial advantage as Paviors struggled to break free from the stranglehold the Blues had on the game. A third Daniel penalty was then followed for a Steve Fraher try after concerted pressure on the visitors line. Danieal was this time unsuccessful with his conversion to leave the Blues leading 14-3 at the break.
Paviors started the second half strongly and it was their turn to dominate the game, and they reduced the Blues advantage after 5 minutes of the half with an unconverted try. 14-8.
With 55 minutes gone Paviors took the lead with a converted try, and it was now, most certainly, anybodies game! 14-15.
Kettering hit back quicly and when Ollie Furniss fielded a relieving kick on his own 10-metre line, he immediately set up a counter attack. Jordan Butlin carried it on and made an incisive break through the heart of the Paviors defence. He then fed the supporting Josh Cox who offloaded brilliantly to Matt Neild, for the centre to crash over for a superb team try. Daniel added the extras, and the Blues were back in front with 15 minutes to go. 21-15.
Back came Paviors and their strong, incisive running made the Blues work frantically in defence to keep the visitors out. With less than 10 minutes to go Paviors found a way through to score their third try of the game, but with the kick drifting wide, Kettering held a slender one point lead.
Paviors nearly broke through again, and it took a great cover tackle from Ryan Conyard to prevent the score, and with Josh Plowright in support the Blues gained a crucial penalty, as the game entered injury time.
Daniel pinned the visitors back into their 22 and as the attempted a last minute brea out, Shane Ling superbly turned the ball over to gain another penalty, and Daniel made no mistake with the last kick of the game to give the home side an extremely hard fought win.
Kettering 24 - 20 Paviors.
RAJ Man of the Match: Josh Plowright