Midlands 3 East (North)
Kesteven 1st XV 43
Belper 1st XV 0
A MUCH-CHANGED Belper side fell to a heavy defeat against tough opposition in the form of Kesteven on Saturday.
Belper began in confident mood despite losing the Watson trio to injury and work commitments, with the being shuffled with Peter Dyer returning to the back row, Leon Griffiths to the centre and Rowan Beverley making his first team debut on the wing.
This was, however, a day where injury was going to overshadow the rugby with Beverley landing badly in a tackle which seriously hurt his neck, leading to an airlift to hospital where he was to have tests on the injuries to back and neck.
The game started off with the home side kicking down hill with the wind behind them and they used the elements to their advantage with two quick tries, as missed tackles were punished and good handling let Kesteven score easily.
Belper, however, didn’t roll over to take a real hammering, as they hit back and only last ditch tackles on James Naylor and Merv Holmes stopped the pair scoring following good individual efforts.
Belper’s pack were strong all game and turned over numerous scrums with York and Griffiths offering big drives from the second row and Woodward and Carter disrupting the front rowers’ drive.
The back row of Blount, Holmes and Dyer disrupted and tackled all over the park but Kesteven had a settled and well organised team who stuck to a game plan which was jut alittle too strong for Belper.
The game play at times was even with Belper breaking the line but the home side managed to defend and keep Belper out.
Beverley’s injury came following good work from Ogorman in the centre, moving the ball out to the wing where Beverly sprinted down the wing and cut back inside the winger only to be caught by the two centres who tackled him backwards with Beverley falling awkwardly, still presenting the ball well but getting injured in the process.
The game was delayed while first-aider Charlotte Miller kept Beverley stable and the Kesteven crowd got blankets to keep him warm.
The game was moved to another pitch to continue, where Green and Tennick came on, however in Belper’s haste to get across to Kesteven the wrong kit had been picked up which only had 15 shirts meaning Tennick had to play in a bright red hoody.
Belper continued to tackle hard and snipe at the homeside with Blount, Naylor and Blackwell having stormers.
The visitors nearly scored in the dying moments when Scott somehow collected a pass from Ogorman at his feet by flicking the ball up into his hand and sprinting away, only to be caught feet from the line.