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Kenilworth 25 Whitchurch 17

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2013 04:39pm
Kenilworth, Warwick
By Willie Whitesmith
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A fine but blustery day welcomed everyone to Glasshouse Lane for this encounter between Kenilworth and Whitchurch. 

A strong wind was blowing straight down the field and it was obvious from the start that it would play a major part in the pattern and eventual outcome of the game, writes Pete Lindsay.

Kenilworth were much changed from the previous week at Hereford and out through injury were Gareth Renowden, Ed Hannam, Freddie Mills and Jack Gibson. Scrum half Seb Corby made his first team debut as did Warwickshire U20’s fly half Dale Glover as a sub.

Both teams spent the early part of the encounter exchanging pressure and penalties with Whitchurch putting the first 3 points on the board after a series of penalties given away by Kenilworth and the resultant kick in front of the posts converted (0 – 3).  However it wasn’t long before Jonny Cresswell took a ‘tap and go’ from a penalty 5 metres out and charged over the line to put Kenilworth in front (5 – 3).  The difficult conversion was just missed by Tom Kendall, but he was soon back on form slotting a 3 point penalty from the middle of the field when Whitchurch had been penalised yet again, this time for not releasing (8 – 3). Both sides never really threatened to score for much of the remainder of the half, with play becoming very disjointed with continuous infringements and mistakes from both sides.  Kenilworth’s lead was increased from another Tom Kendall penalty (11 – 3) but the deficit was reduced close to half time after continuous pressure from Whitchurch’s forwards. A try was awarded as Whitchurch found a gap in Kenilworth’s defence following a series of rucks on our line (11- 10).  With the last kick of the half, Tom Kendall had the opportunity to increase Kenilworth’s lead with another penalty but the wind this time pushed the ball just left of the post (H. T. 11 – 10). Not a great spectacle of rugby, but the strong wind was having an effect on both teams and many of the supporters felt perhaps Kenilworth had not fully used it to their advantage. All were conscious that a 1 point lead was probably not enough with Whitchurch playing the 2nd half with the wind behind them!

Warwickshire U20’s fly half Dale Glover was introduced at fly half with Bobby Thompson moving into his more customary position in the back row. Kenilworth appeared galvanised right from the start of the second half, applying early pressure. An excellent break from Josh Hickman and then Simon Tyler, with a powerful surge from Bobby Thompson provided the platform for James Wadey to take the ball over the try line. Tom Kendall was successful with a difficult conversion just to the left of the posts, his banana kick getting the better of the howling wind (18 – 10).  However the lead was yet again reduced very quickly after a clearance kick was charged down providing an easy try for Whitchurch.  The difficult kick from the touch line was impressively converted (18 – 17).

Two yellow cards were then produced as Jonny Cresswell and Whitchurch’s no. 7 exchanged pleasantries.  However this was a prelude to an outstanding team try from Kenilworth who took the ball from the half way line, down the left side inter passing between the forwards before releasing Tom Nicholson to score under the posts.  It has been a long time since the Glasshouse lane supporters had seen two props (Nick Collett and Ross Lowthian) draw their man and put a deft pass to each other, a text book try! (25 – 17).  Kenilworth were unfortunate not to increase their lead following a powerful break from Dom Sheehan but an avoidable penalty released the pressure on Whitchurch who cleared with a penalty kick.

Kenilworth’s style of rugby, very different from the first half, was proving successful and it was obvious that direct running and taking the game to the opposition was the way to go.  Whitchurch were under a lot of pressure and never really got out of their half in the last 15 minutes apart from one missed penalty attempt.  Whitchurch did try and use the wind to put K’s back in their 22, but on 3 successive attempts the ball went dead having been greatly assisted by the Beaufort scale 9 wind that continued to blow.  It was during this period of play that many spectators were bemused by some of the referee’s decisions but all seemed to benefit Kenilworth who continued to apply the pressure, tackle well and force errors from Whitchurch. 

The game ended as it had started, the wind playing an influential part in the pattern of play and  Kenilworth came away with a deserved win (25 – 17).

Next week Kenilworth are at home to the league leaders Lichfield. Prior to the game there is a Charity Lunch, the Event Sponsor being Bromwich Hardy.

 

WARWICKSHIRE 2ND XV CUP, first round

OLD LAURENTIANS 2’s 7     KENILWORTH CAVALIERS 41

A superb five try win for Kenilworth Cavaliers in blustery conditions at Old Laurentians to progress in the Warwickshire 2nd XV Cup.

A great team performance but special mentions go to Rhys Llewellyn, Tom Watts, Tommy Jones and Nick Prince.

Kenilworth faced a strong blustery wind in the first half and for the first ten minutes they were pinned in their own half, defending well. The first incursion into the OL’s half proved successful with good interplay between Jai Purewal, Rhys Jones and Adam Clifford sent centre Tim Wilson over for the first try, converted by Nick Prince. OL’s returned on the attack but began to get on the wrong side of the referee, conceding many penalties, including being marched back not once, but twice at a Kenilworth penalty. Kenilworth No8 Tommy Jones was prominent both in defence and attack. On the 20 minute mark Kenilworth lost a scrum against the head on the half way line but scrum half Adam Hadwin did not give up and managed to hack the ball through, not once but twice, before pouncing on it over the line for K’s second try. Prince failed to convert and Kenilworth lead 12-0. Kenilworth went further ahead on the 35 minute mark when Kenilworth were awarded yet another penalty which was kicked to touch. Second row Mark Powell secured the lineout ball and Jai Purewal took it on before offloading to Tommy Jones to score under the posts, Prince converting for a 19-0 lead at the end of the first half.

Kenilworth were now playing with the wind but it was not the strong blustery wind of the first half, rather a gentle breeze. OL’s continued to get on the referee’s wrong side and Kenilworth were awarded many penalties. More back chat resulted in a further 20m concession and from a Nick Prince kick into the corner Kenilworth almost increased their lead. However OL’s were now coming into the game and ironic cheers from the home crowd greeted an OL’s penalty. However Kenilworth held out and went looking for another try, this coming following great play between Mat Gibson and Tommy Jones which sent substitute Jonny Openshaw in under the posts for another converted try and a 26-0 lead. Kenilworth did not give up their quest for more tries and another came on 70 minutes from another line-out which Tommy Jones broke from before carrying the ball and sending Tom Watts in for an unconverted try and a 31-0 lead. Kenilworth were now camped in the OL’s 22 and were awarded a number of penalties which ended in another yellow card following more back chat. The pressure finally told when the Kenilworth backs spread the play across the field, only to bring it back and spring Tommy Jones in for another try, converted by Prince and a 38-0 lead. OL’s were now playing for some pride and after a period of pressure final crossed the Kenilworth line for a converted try on 75 minutes. The game was then played out and, rather surprisingly Kenilworth were awarded yet another penalty just inside their own half which they elected to kick, and failed. Soon after they were awarded another penalty in front of the posts which they took to complete the scoring at 41-7 and an impressive away win.     

 

 

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