Hickman the Hero with Late Penalty

Kenilworth 1st XV 22 - 20 Stratford 1st XV

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2016 05:31pm
Kenilworth, Warwick
By Willie Whitesmith
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Kenilworth returned to winning ways on Saturday as Josh Hickman secured the spoils with the final kick of the match in a 22-20 victory against local rivals Stratford at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday, writes Sophie Freestone.
The home side got off to a brilliant start, scoring the opening try of the match after just six minutes. Following an attack that started on halfway, winger Ed Hannam broke through the Stratford defence to cross on the left wing. Hickman's conversion was just wide of the mark.
Stratford almost responded immediately, as they made their way to Kenilworth's 5m line, but some great defence from the home side earned a penalty from which they cleared their lines.
A Kenilworth kick upfield then proved tricky for Stratford to handle, resulting in a turnover inside the visitor's half. The ball was worked to the left in a great counter attack before fly half Alex Selby dived over under the posts. Hickman's conversion gave Kenilworth a 12-0 lead with just 15 minutes played.
Stratford responded in the form of a penalty from Nath Geekie, before they almost scored a try of their own following a kick through which took play into the Kenilworth 22. Scrum half Gaz Renowden was quick to react however, with a great clearance kick to halt the Stratford attack.
As the half hour mark approached, Kenilworth were once again on the score sheet. A kick to the corner from Renowden gave the home side a turnover 5m from the Stratford line. The ball was spun out to the left and full back Jamie Mapletoft crossed in the corner to score his first try for the club. Hickman added the extras from out wide to make the score 19-3, before a great turnover on the Kenilworth line from Nick Collett, with half time looming, ensured the home side held onto their 16 point lead at the break.
Stratford came out strong for the final forty with a converted try near the posts from full back Nath Geekie inside the opening five minutes to close the gap to nine points. Kenilworth then had their chances to extend their lead, taking play up to the Stratford 5m line, before missing a penalty attempt. A penalty for the visitors made the score 19-13 inside the final 20 minutes, before a converted try on 74 minutes gave Stratford a one-point lead to ensure a nerve wracking final five minutes for the home side.
Kenilworth kept the pressure up and the referee blew for an injury time penalty just inside the Stratford half. Hickman's superb strike secured victory for Kenilworth with the final kick of the match in a thrilling local derby. The win sees Kenilworth move up to sixth in the league.


Kenilworth Colts V Stratford Colts 16th January 2016

This was an emphatic victory for Kenilworth Colts. Right from the off, Kenilworth showed the intensity that overwhelmed Stratford. Stratford only came close to scoring once and that was stoutly defended. Misery was compounded by Harvey Joy and Alex Gyetvai, who kicked all the Conversions, including one off the upright, from the touchline.

Kenilworth 35 - Stratford Nil

Hugh Whidbourne 3
Ben Green 1
Austin Tooze 1
Harvey Joy 3
Alex Gyetvai 2

Kenilworth kicked off the game and after a pause for an injury the game proceeded with a scum to Stratford. Kenilworth pressured the Strats back line and the ball was dropped and kicked through by Sam Bailey, who then picked up and offloaded to Hugh Whidbourne. He went over and under the posts, plus the conversion. 7 Nil 2 mins.
The game proceeded with Kenilworth on top and retaining possession. This caused frustration for Stratford, a theme that continued throughout the game. The Strats often conceding penalties at the break down. From one of these on half way. Alex Gyetvai kicked a beaut to the corner. The resulting line-out maul was a pleasure to see. From 5 yards out as Stratford committed more players to stopping it, the ball was then released out down the backs, putting Austin Tooze over in the Corner. Alex Gyetvai kicked the conversion 14-Nil. 15 mins
For the final 20 mins of the half Stratford came into the game much more. Any ball recovered from rucks or mistakes was quickly recycled and put out to their backs. One such move looked like a certain try just before ½ time. The winger was brought down only 5 yards from the line. From here Stratford made one attack after another with Kenilworth conceding 3 penalties. The Kens Captain was then called over and given a final warning. Once again Stratford tried a crash ball move. The Kens held that out, but the Stratford player became isolated and was adjudged to be holding on. Phew no score and ½ time.
From the kick off Kens go on the attack. Catching the ball and driving up the field, Charlie started a sequence of rucking and mauling, offloading that brought the Kens to the Stratford 22. Kenilworth then knocked on in the tackle and the result was a Scrum on the Stratford 22 in the centre of the pitch. Stratford put in. This was won against the head and Hugh Whidbourne at the back of the scrum picked up the ball and beating 2 men went over to score under the posts. 5 Mins 2nd half. With the conversion by Harvey Joy, 21-Nil.
From the KO Kenilworth again attacked and worked their way up to a good position in the Stratford 22. However, a pivotal moment had occurred. The ref had seen a knee to the head by the Stratford 15 and Captain and that was it. RED CARD. Stratford down to 14. To confuse issues he was not playing full back but inside or o/side centre. Also pretty good player.
The resulting penalty was kicked to the Stratford corner and this looked like an easy try. However, Kenilworth messed it up, the ruck splitting into 2 and reforming quite rightly seen as an accidental offside. Scrum to Stratford. Kenilworth won the scrum again and Ben Green took this over to score. Harvey Joy kicked it, 28 Nil
Kenilworth were now completely in charge. From the base of a ruck on 17 mins 2nd half. Hugh Whidbourne picked a ball and broke through around the fringe. Beating the next man and finding himself in open space, he grubber kicked for the line, but the Full Back was quick enough to beat the pursuing Ken players. The ball was cleared and Kens ad a great line out position inside the 22. This ball was played out down the line and then the game was brought to a halt by the ref for a Penalty. Unfortunately this was against Ollie Jones. Who also faced the RED CARD. Penalty Stratford. 17Mins 2nd Half.
As the sun started to set, so did the game. Both sides having given all, on the very soft pitch lost momentum. Kenilworth scored again a well worked try in the corner from Harvey Whidbourne and amazingly Harvey Joy converted it. It hit the junction of upright and crossbar bounced in the air and landed inside the try area. Unbelievable. About the longest I have seen Harvey kick. It was one of those days.
As if we had not seen enough for a Saturday, the kick off brought more amazement. Stratford kicked off with their players about ¾ yards in front of the kicker. I am not sure what happened, but the ref blew up and went to speak to the Stratford Coach who was linesman on the opp touchline.
Clearly not an amicable discussion ensued and the then the ref walked back to half way. Only to be stop and return to the coach after the Stratford Coach clearly had more to say about the matter. The Ref then brought out the RED CARD to the Stratford coach and he was on his way. Incredible.
Stratford then had a better 5 mins of play, but could not get near scoring and the match ended. 35 nil.



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