Although many regulars were missing, BB put up a solid line-up to more than match Kettering's talent in a game disrupted by far too many stoppages. With only 60 minutes of playing time allowed due to late kick off, there seemed little actual playing time in the first half.
Ed Tucker opened the scoring with a beautiful down-hill chip and catch to take BB five points ahead, and Kettering showed little appetite for attack in the remainder of the first half.
Rhydian Beynon-Davies introduced himself to the Club with a steady and mobile debut, displaying a safe pair of hands, first at wing, then full-back. Chris Ola nearly scored on more than one occasion, criss-crossing the pitch regularly in the hunt for the ball, using his lightning pace to out dodge his opponents.
Up front, the agreesion of Sean Fagan was well balanced by a welcome return to Northampton by Ricardo Mouro, and Spencer Ngywya did a great job in his natural position of hooker. Second row James Lyon was as mobile as ever in his first game of the season, complemented by a never tiring Andy Brown, playing out of position but with equal enthusiasm at open side.
Kettering came out stronger and quicker in the second half, but BB's back line was boosted 10 minutes in - a marked difference with Liam Marriott at 12 in his first of hopefully many more games back at the BB since finishing uni, ably backed by a swift and eager Tommy Buswell at 13.
Obstacles removed, improved distrubition from subsitute Paul Donald at 9 linked well with Ed at 10 and the new found creativity in the whole of the backs, who began attacking with cohesion and at pace, with Steve Larkins regularly joinging the line from full back and Dan Ceeley putting in another promising appearance in only his second game since leaving school all those years ago.
BB were unfortunate in missing out on at least three extra tries as the odd wayward BB player strayed into the line and went for shameful glory (it wasn't only Minty). Nevertheless, another of these moves put an albeit under the weather Tommy Buswell in for his 10th try in four games. This might represent a slight decline in his scoring rate, but it's something he'll no doubt correct with more frequent and longer appearances. (That line is staying in on the grounds of journalistic integrity, no matter what Tom says, or even the ever absent Daz).
Ian Hart kindly volunteered to prop for the opposition, so that the game could continue without uncontested scrums, much to Sean Fagan's delight. Despite travelling over, Dan Denton, Mick Skelton and captain Paul Hood all volunteered unselfishly to stay on the sidelines so that the rest could enjoy more game time.
This was a solid team effort from the BB's ever growing squad of players, giving valuable practice to future Club talent, which was surrounded by a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. We look forward to welcoming Corby to the BB this coming Saturday for what promises to be a competitive and entertaining League fixture.