Market Rasen & Louth 18 Kettering 15
Market Rasen & Louth earned their third win in a row as they prepared themselves for this Saturday's test against Midlands One East leaders Peterbrough Lions.
However, the Red & Greens had to battle back from behind to take the tight victory over Kettering at Willingham Road.
Kettering gained possession after a Rasen spill.
A deft chip by fly half Josh Plowright over the advancing Red & Green defence resulted in a race for the touchdown that was won by Daniel. He then picked himself up to slot the conversion giving Kettering a seven-point lead.
Rasen responded positively with Starling charging up field before linking with scrumhalf Chris Everton who cleverly held the defence before popping the ball to centre George Eddell ghosting up on the outside to score wide out.
Kettering centre Joe Newman had already been admonished by the referee earlier in the game before a second indiscretion earned him a ten minute break in the sin bin.
Rasen desperately wanted to capitalise on this advantage.
However, for the second time the much vaunted catch and drive came to nothing and Kettering had the chance to relieve the pressure with a scrum.
Chris Everton flew from the scrum to pressure the kicker Daniel, who with one eye on the red and green scrumhalf fumbled the ball forward.
With vulture-like scavenging instincts, Starling had burst from the side of the scrum and was on hand to snatch a try from the loose ball to give Rasen a 10-7 lead at the interval.
Rasen began the second half strongly.
The backs and forwards combined to move the ball from one side of the pitch to the other before the play culminated with Harvey coming from his opposite wing to score in the corner.
Two minutes later Kettering were awarded a penalty and taking a pragmatic approach, Daniel slotted the kick to chip away at the Red & Green lead.
An injury to Rasen prop substitute Jon McKechtnie who had earlier replaced Ollie Cole resulted in the scrums going uncontested and somewhat blunted the Rasen armoury.
Despite both teams efforts, neither side could edge ahead.
However, Rasen fullback Meehal Grint, who had a nil return at this stage, finally put further daylight between the sides with a sweetly struck penalty.
This left a hectic four minutes still to play with Rasen almost stretching their lead as an angled run from the wing by Peter Everton was curtailed agonisingly short of the line.
Kettering showed remarkable resilience and went on the attack themselves to heap pressure on the Red & Green defence.
Eventually the resistance was broken as a quick-tap penalty pushed Rasen back and then a long pass found winger James Taylor to dive over in the corner.
In the gathering gloom Rasen managed to quell the final Kettering onslaught to see out the final minute of the game for a hard fought, narrow victory.
Rasen: Ashton, Alldridge, Cole, Mills, L. Dearden, Pryer, D. Starling, Chamberlin, C. Everton, Sutton, P. Everton, Eddell, Beasley, Harvey, Grint. Subs: McKechtnie (Cole), Inman (McKechtnie), Robinson (not used).