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Home > News > South go down narrowly to Kettering
Your News South go down narrowly to Kettering

South eventually struggled to dominate visitors Kettering at home after a bright start to the match. The poor underfoot conditions, temperature and visability were in direct contrast to the early fare served up by South, who continued in the same rich vein as at Peterborough two weeks previously.

The normally reliable Mark Lord missed an early penalty chance before Chris Bale drove hard from the base of the scrum to go over in the 5th minute. Lord failed to convert. South were in the ascendancy at that stage taking the game to the opposition and dominating territory. They, however, failed to capitalise on a number of try scoring chances due to the old failing of not looking after the ball in contact, allied to poor decision making in the backs and a general inability to get over the gain line. To make things worse, Lord failed with two more penalty chances while Tim Jones the Kettering full back pulled back three points with a straightforward penalty kick of his own.

South regrouped and Kris McFredries manufactured a fine individual sniping try again from the base of the scrum to increase South's lead. Lord added the extras.

Half time 12-3 in South's favour.

The second half started with Kettering's drift defence snuffing out repeated South attacks forcing turnovers and an increased confidence in their ability to take the game. Jones repeated the dose with a well struck penalty to narrow the gap to 12-6 with 50 minutes gone, however, prop Martin Dreyer was yellow carded for an illegal tackle. South should have taken advantage, but again failed to capitalise on the numerical situation being strangely naive as to how to break down the evermore confident Kettering defence.

The visitors now had the momentum and sensed victory and after a period of concerted pressure applied the killer blow with winger Paul Sumner going over in the very right hand corner. Tom Bridgeman taking over the kicking duties somehow converted with a low level, hobbling kick which would ultimately win the game for Kettering. Rich James and Steve Martin were introduced by coach Rob Tebbutt with South putting together a series of forward drives to get within striking range. However, a knock on in contact brought that move to an end and Kettering hung on for jubilant celebrations at the final whistle.

Overall, the back row of Rob Sands, Chris Bale and Mike March tried manfully to turn the tide, but all to often South were guilty of not being clinical and paid the price. The set scrum was solid with some good gains being made early in the game, while the lineout stuttered again. Due to our inability to get over the gain line in attack we constantly allowed Kettering to disrupt our efforts leading to errors and frustration.

Team: Thomas, Collins, Lang, Armstrong, Nicholson (Martin), Lord, McFredries, Bale, Sands, March, Badham, Mark, Bayley, Green, Harris (James).


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