March Report Courtesy of KC's Press Secretary Martin Easton
KC’s rounded off their season with a convincing bonus point away win at bottom of the table Cheltenham North and climbed above Banbury to finish a respectable eighth place in Mids 2 West (South).
They did not start well,conceding a try inside the first two minutes following a Cheltenham scrum on halfway which saw their No 12 punch a huge hole in KC’s defence.The hosts were halted just short of the tryline but had sufficient support to get over the whitewash for a 5-0 lead.It only took five minutes for Kidder to respond when they won a lineout on North’s 22 and moved the ball left to winger James Whitehouse
who was held up but offloaded to fullback Mark James
who crossed to level the scores.Andy McLellan
’s conversion attempt from wide out struck a post but seven minutes later KC’s went in front after winning a scrum against the head to set up ruck ball which they moved right.Playing an advantage at the next breakdown they switched back left and Whitehouse exchanged passes with prop Matt Rigsby,just getting to his feet and finding the play coming back to him after being at the bottom of the first ruck,to give the winger an easy run in.
KC’s extended their lead to 17-5 midway through the half when they won a penalty after an incisive burst by centre Jake Evetts and kicked to touch.From the lineout No 8 Layton Wilkinson drove over and McLellan added the extras but the hosts quickly hit back from a scrum on KC’s 22.Moving the ball along their threes,North appeared to be guilty of a crossing obstruction offence but were allowed to continue and reduced the deficit to 17-10.A blatant late tackle on McLellan went unpunished but ten minutes from the break a Cheltenham player wearing No 16 was yellow carded for killing a KC’s lineout move.The visitors were now well on top but North survived a series of set pieces on their line and right on the stroke of halftime had a real escape when Kidder should have scored but cut back inside instead of going for the corner and then knocked on with the line at their mercy.KC’s scrum could be well pleased with their first half’s work but would a seven point advantage be enough?
Ten minutes into the second half another cynical late tackle on McLellan,who clearly had been targeted by the home side,resulted in a yellow for North’s No 8 to again reduce them to fourteen men.Five minutes later a 22 drop out by KC’s No10 was charged down but some slick handling saw them sweep upfield and a penetrating run by Evetts put McLellan in under the posts for a bonus point try which he converted himself.Another dominant scrum sparked more good passages of play by KC’s but they suffered an unexpected setback when a defensive mix up near the right touchline on their ten metre line allowed North’s No 13 to grab possession and go over and reduce the deficit to 24-15.However,this was as good as it got for the home side as KC’s took control and five minutes later a clean catch and elusive run by scrumhalf Chris Pinner
led to a five metre scrum at which Cheltenham were penalised.Kidder took the three points,McLellan’s penalty stretching the lead to27-15,and for the next ten minutes they played some really good rugby.Splendid interchangesbetween backs and forwards with Stu Such
,skippering the side for the last time,linking play particularly well eventually created space for wing Nick Martin to run in a fifth try,excellently improved by McLellan.
Cheltenham briefly threatened a last ditch response but a crunching tackle by replacement Scott Lovell stopped them in their tracks and KC’s finished their season on a high with sixteen points from their last four matches,three away from home,under new coach Ian Bletcher