Stuttering Blues find a way
By Doug Bridgeman
Kettering, eventually, saw off a plucky Old Scouts side, with a 3-43 win which keeps them in touch with leaders Paviors.
After weeks of inactivity, with only a single game since 15th December, the Blues could have been forgiven if they had started slowly. This, however, certainly wasn't the case as Joe Newman opened the scoring after 2 minutes when severe pressure on the Scouts defence led to a semi charged down kick, which ballooned up into the air. Colt, Cameron Sharpe, reacted best and his tap back was collected by another U18, scrum half Tasker Stables, who broke blind and fed Newman, for the centre to score wide out on the right. Joe Daniels conversion attempt was unsuccessful,but the Blues had the early lead, 0-5.
Scouts were playing with great enthusiasm and built up a period of pressure, which eventually saw them gain a penalty in front of the posts. The kick at goal was successful and after 10 minutes it was anyone's game, 3-5.
The Blues were always a threat, but inaccuracies, and a number of, close call, forward passes, were frustrating the visitors, until a well worked catch and drive saw the Blues man of the match, Shane Ling, add the finishes touches and dot down for the second score. Daniels conversion was this time successful to give Kettering a 3-12 lead with a quarter of the game gone.
The frustrations continued and a great break by George Newman saw the skipper offload in the tackle to Josh Plowright, but the centres try was disallowed for another, alleged, forward pass to ensure that as half-time approached the game was still very much in the balance.
Ling eased the Blues supporters concerns with a try in the last play of the half, when more pressure on the Scouts line led to the prop showing great strength and determination to power over the line under the posts for his second and the Blues third score. Daniel added the extras and Kettering led 3-19 at the break.
The second half was once again littered with errors, and it was 20 minutes before Kettering eventually strung a really meaningful series of phases together. This led to some space on the left wing and fine handling saw Jordan Butlin streak down the touchline and dive over in the corner for the 4th and decisive score. Daniels touchline conversion sailed between the uprights and the Scouts resistance was finally broken. 3-26.
5 minutes later, another excellent piece of handling, this time down the right, saw Sharpe burst clear and cross for the Blues fifth score, which this time was unconverted. 3-31.
As the game entered its latter stages, the Blues were now in complete control, and a second well executed lineout drive led to Mark Watson scoring another uncoverted try. 3-36.
Then, with the last play of the game, Daniel, now playing at fly-half, jinked his way through from the 22 and found Alex Bayley in support to give the forward a simple task of dotting down under the posts. Daniel added the extra's to leave the final score, 3-43.
RAJ Man of the Match: Shane Ling