Kempston RFC enjoyed a 19-7 victory over St Neots IIs in their East Midlands Youngs Bitter Merit League clash at the weekend.
The hosts were looking to bounce back following a heartbreaking defeat in the last minute to Ampthill Vs, while St Neots came into the game on the back of an impressive win against Dunstablians IIIs.
Kempston had the majority of the ball but couldn’t put St Neots under enough pressure to capitalise early on.
A couple of half chance came to nothing, as the visitors began to warm to the conditions, running simple but effective lines forcing K’s to make tackle after tackle finally let to a prolonged period of pressure in the 22.
Scrambling defence from K’s was just about holding on, until a couple of penalties close to the line created a mismatch near the posts and St Neots crashed over to score, with the conversion making it 7-0.
K’s looked to bounce back with Connor Bice and Bradley Washford making yards and creating space as captain Tom Darlow appeared to have made the most of a break down the left, but was hauled into touch diving for the line five metres out.
Trailing 7-0 at the break, the second half started brightly for K’s running through the phases and looking to play with the ball.
Although their own line-outs weren’t going to plan, plenty was stolen from the St Neots throw.
With the home side pressuring in the St Neots 22, it was a pick and go from Rich Lovesy that got K’s on the board, converted by Rob Campbell for 7-7.
There didn’t look like the anyone other than K’s would next trouble the scoresheet and that was the case with good work up front to win quick ball releasing the wings.
Ollie Peters had already threatened once since coming on and this time made no mistake, rounding his winger and brushing off another defender to slide over for a 12-7 lead.
Again looking to spread wide, K’s broke through and with some very cute offloads from debutant Michael Etienne and Bice led to last years top scorer Luke Barry getting over from a move that started in Ks own half.
Campbell once again converted as the hosts led 19-7.
K’s looked to continue to press with Peters again coming close and Bice seemingly clear to easily pick up and touch down, fly hacking through following some good defence work by both him and Leon Harvey.
However, a slight nudge in the back led to Bice colliding with the post and not picking up the ball to score.
The game ended on a slightly sour note as Etienne was unable to get to his feet following a tackle with his opposite number, falling awkwardly and subsequently dislocating his shoulder as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the match.
K’s are next in action when they travel to Olney IIs on Saturday, September 24.
K’s: J Barry, C Heath, R Burnage, A Redford, R Powles, R Lovesy, J James, P Foster, T Darlow (C), R Campbell, S Liddle, B Washford, C Bice, W Goodman, L Barry.