By Lisa Elliott
VENUE: ASHFORD RFC
WEATHER CONDITIONS: COLD, WET AND DRIZZLING
Unfortunately the Stones went into this match with a much weaker squad than normal as we were missing many key players, to face a team with 3 Northants county players.
Kettering kicked off, both teams began well. Kettering managed to steal the ball from the Stones and were able to make a strong run across half the pitch scoring the first try 5 mins into the game, this was quickly converted, score 7-0 to Kettering. Kettering was constantly attacking our defences but some good tackling from Sid Gurung and Louie Bolton prevented them from scoring another try. 10 mins in, the Stones lost the ball in a ruck and Kettering again made it to the try line to score again, score now 12-0 to Kettering. Good tackling from George Way prevented Kettering getting another try which resulted in Folkestone having a lineout. A knock on from Kettering resulted in a Folkestone ball which was kicked into touch by Doug Wood for another Folkestone lineout, a Kettering catch and another strong run from the halfway line, good strong defence work from Louie Bolton again preventing a try. A scrum was awarded and won by Folkestone from which James Porter ran 2/3 of the pitch towards Kettering’s try line only to be tackled and the ball was lost. From this Kettering’s number 10 kicked the ball towards our try line, good tackling from Dougie Wood and a good run from Louie Bolton to defend, penalty was given against Folkestone. Kettering scored the penalty making the half time score 12-0 to Kettering.
It was the stones who got the second half underway but unfortunately Kettering caught the ball then made a good run and scored a try, the kick was converted taking the score to 19-0. 10 minutes into the second half a superb passing move from Kettering looked dangerous until James Porter made an excellent challenge stopping Kettering in their tracks. Play seemed to be going Kettering’s way when they managed to score another a try from a lineout but the kick was not converted taking the score to 24-0. Play continued but unfortunately after a mistake on our try line Kettering were able to pounce on a loose ball to score a try, kick was converted bringing the score to 31-0 to Kettering. Two minutes later Kettering split our defence for another try, 36-0. George Way stormed forward into Kettering’s half for the Stones and was denied a scoring opportunity by good tackling from Kettering. Folkestone began to put huge pressure on the Kettering’s 5metre line with good team work from Ben Procter, James Evans, Declan Gordon and Dougie Wood but were unable to touch down. With two minutes of the match remaining Kettering won the lineout resulting in another try but not converted ending the match 41-0 to Kettering.
The final score did not reflect the effort from the Stones squad, who were winning many of the scrums & line outs, & in usual form kept fighting back.