Blues take East Midlands crown

Joe Daniel held his nerve to kick the winning points for Kettering
Joe Daniel held his nerve to kick the winning points for Kettering

Kettering are the East Midlands Cup winners after a dramatic last-minute victory over Luton at Bedford’s Goldington Road ground.

Joe Daniel kicked a penalty in stoppage-time to edge the Blues in front 18-16 and when the referee’s whistle followed immmediately after it brought huge celebrations.

It had looked like being a disappointing night despite a promising start.

Tom Bridgeman nipped through to score within minutes of the kick-off and Daniel’s conversion gave Kettering the perfect platform.

Penalties were then exchanged as the men from Waverley Road went in to half-time 10-6 ahead.

However, Luton were out of the blocks in the second period and a converted try put them in front for the first time.

Another three points stretched their lead out to 16-10 and it seemed as though the trophy was staying in Bedfordshire.

Kettering were given hope when a kick from Daniel saw Damien Conyard touch down in the corner.

But the conversion was missed and the game was still 16-15 in Luton’s favour.

The drama was not over, though.

The referee awarded Luton a penalty but then reversed his giving Daniel the chance to slot the winning points, which he duly did.