Luctonians 17 pts Kettering 20 LUCTONIANS suffered an agonising home defeat after spurning a 14-0 lead in their second National 3 Midlands match of the season.
Discipline and fitness were key factors behind the result, which saw Luctonians crash to their second defeat.
The Mortimer Park men got off to the best possible start when young full-back Dan Ruell's mazy counterattacking run brought him within range of the visitors' line.
His neat offload saw hooker Nick Byron cross for the opening try.
Scrum-Half Jamie Simpson kicked the conversion to give the home side an early 7-0 lead.
Luctonians began to assert more pressure through their forwards and, with the visiting scrum floundering, the referee awarded the home side a penalty try.
Simpson slotted the simple conversion and the north Herefordshire side were flying at 14-0.
However, Luctonians eased off and, following a missed penalty attempt from Kettering’s Tim Jones, the visitors scored a try through flanker Alex Lyness.
Jones kicked the conversion to halve Luctonians’ lead but Kettering were penalised for handling on the floor and Simpson slotted the penalty to make it 17-7 at the interval.
Jones missed a penalty attempt after the restart but Kettering kept attacking and got their reward through centre Cory Rainbow, who crossed under the posts.
Jones' conversion cut Luctonians’ advantage to just three points.
The hosts continued to fall foul of the referee and soon Kettering had the opportunity to draw level after Luctonians were penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown.
Jones obliged with the penalty and the two sides were level at 17-17 going into the final quarter.
The Mortimer Park men made a host of changes in an effort to regain the initiative and they soon had an opportunity to retake the lead.
Crucially, Simpson missed his penalty attempt from close range which left the two sides deadlocked.
Kettering got the vital score with five minutes remaining with a penalty from Jones after Luctonians had been caught offside.
Luctonians will need to improve if they are to stop themselves from crashing to a third consecutive defeat at Longton on Saturday.
The Staffordshire side have a reputation for being very physical and are among the league's top-five after a win and a narrow defeat so far.