Rugby: Blue and Whites miss out after league thriller

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Skegness 2nd XV 15, North Kesteven 2nd 17

Skegness Rugby Club second team entertained North Kesteven in a thrilling merit league fixture at Wainfleet Road playing fields.

After a ferocious start by a well-drilled Kesteven side, Skegness took the blows admirably and through excellent pack work from Linnell Brown and Farnsworth they began to take hold of the game.

Led excellently by Ant Spiers the side showed a drive and passion that entertained the spectators and moved the flow of play towards the Kesteven line.

After superb work at the breakdown by the outstanding Lempard, Phelpps and Frost, the ever-improving and hard working Clarke broke away to score a well-deserved try.

John Epton dictated play, supported by Hotchen, and both provided polished performances, motivating all around them.

Through a penalty Skegness took a well-deserved 10-0 lead.

Matt Nightingale, Taylor and the ever-present Hardy drove the side on with hard penetrating runs, and the Blue and Whites looked comfortable.

However the Kesteven boys did not give up and after a sustained period of pressure turned the score around to lead 10-12 soon after half-time.

Holiday continued to work hard in the centres with Hardy, putting in excellent tackle after tackle to steady the flow of play.

Rhys Thompson, who seems to grow in stature with each game, ran lines that began to put Skegness into a strong position.

Skegness camped out on the Kesteven line after numerous phases of play led by Spiers, Brown and Frost, the latter going over to score a well-deserved try and regain the lead 15-12.

Delafontayne and Benson came on for the second half contributing hugely to the continued effort and momentum applied by Skegness.

Sadly Kesteven went over to score in the last phase of play to turn the scores around 15-17, to conclude a game that demonstrated everything admirable about local sport - fierce competition coupled with respect and dignity.

“Andy Hill would like to thank his players for their application and loyalty during a difficult time which resulted in a tremendous display by all,” said a club spokesperson.

“The emergence of outstanding youngsters, Clarke, Lempard, Hardy, Thompson and Benson, bodes well for the future,” they added.

Skegness: Linnell, Farnsworth, Brown, Lempard, Frost, Clarke, Spiers, Nightingale, Epton, Hotchen, Holiday, Hardy, Phelpps, Taylor, Thompson. Subs - Hill, Delafontayne, Benson.