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Kenilworth RFC Weekend Round Up

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015 06:18am
Kenilworth, Warwick
By Willie Whitesmith
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KENILWORTH 29 WHITCHURCH 12

Kenilworth returned to winning ways with a deserved win over Whitchurch and there was much to applaud about the performance, writes Ralph Murray.

On a cold but bright afternoon at Glasshouse Lane Kenilworth were looking to kick-start the 2015 campaign with a complete performance against a side which had run them close in the reverse fixture. Right from the off the hosts showed their intent with some probing runs at the Whitchurch defence; Hickman finding a great touch from one such move and winning a penalty at the ensuing lineout. Opting for a kick at goal the normally sure full-back pulled his attempt wide.

Nothing to show from the first forays and now Whitchurch aimed a hopeful kick into the Ks’ half but it was poorly fielded and the visitors won a scrum 10m out. After a series of phases the first try of the afternoon went against the hosts, somewhat against the run of play. Whitchurch looked to build on this early success and threatened again before Captain Johnny Cresswell looked to stop the attack with a clumsy tackle and received a rather harsh yellow card. The man advantage soon told as Whitchurch mauled the ball from 5m out and scored their second try for a 0-12 lead.

Despite being a man down, Kenilworth took the game to Whitchurch and enjoyed a prolonged period in the red zone. Eventually the pressure paid off as James Wadey crashed over for the Ks’ first points of the afternoon. Back came Kenilworth from the restart and multiple phases saw Mat Gibson break the line from the ruck and, with the full-back to beat, looked set to score but lost the ball in contact. But Kenilworth were now playing with real confidence. It was not only in offensive play that the Ks excelled; Sam Flowers, in a rare appearance, was putting in some great work at the fringes and one hit in particular brought a Whitchurch attack to a grinding halt.

As the half wound down Kenilworth continued to grow in confidence and Johnny Cresswell controlled a good maul close to the Whitchurch line. With the defence in disarray Alex Selby took the ball flat and, seeing a gap, darted through it to score and, with the Hickman conversion, the sides were level at the break.

The second half began at a more measured pace but Kenilworth’s attempted progress was often stymied by some questionable defence at the breakdown; the referee finally tired of the repeated infringements and the Whitchurch 8 saw yellow. Now the Ks pressed hard for the lead and after a series of attacking phases close to the line, looked to have scored but a stray hand prevented release. The referee spotted the infringement and the visitors receive another yellow. The ensuing scrum was dropped by Whitchurch and the referee awarded a penalty try.

A period of consolidation now followed but the deadlock was broken by a perfectly-timed interception from substitute Gareth Renowden deep inside his 22. He looked to have the legs on the chasing defenders but some great work by the Whitchurch wing hauled him down. Joe Yeomanson (who had another fine afternoon in the centre) followed up well and took the ball to complete the score (not converted). Whitchurch were now stung into a spirited response and were hurling everything at the K line until Rhys Jones made another fine interception and proceeded up the field with some fine interplay between he and his fellow backs. The ruck was formed just short of the line and the newly arrived substitute Nick Collett saw his chance and touched down for another unconverted Kenilworth score.

With the shackles off, the Kenilworth backs produced some very entertaining play and showed what a depth of talent they have for such a young group. So Kenilworth run out comfortable winners at the end and the 2-score start they gave the opposition might have done for lesser teams but this team has spirit a plenty and their efforts produced their just reward. 

Next game: Warwickshire Cup semi final, v Berkswell & Balsall, Sunday 25th at 2.15 @ Old Leamingtonians.


LUTTERWORTH COLTS V KENILWORTH COLTS 17TH JAN (Friendly)

Against a much bigger team Kenilworth proved themselves to be the better side and controversially were denied a try by the ref in the last 2 minutes when Hector Smith went over in the conner to score. However, it was awarded a knock on after the play had finished and ball was kicked out of Smiths hands. Unfortunately, this was not a Society ref.

 

Lutterworth 26 Kenilworth 24

 

Tries

Sam Bailey 2

Harvey Joy 1

Matt Slater 1

Conversions

Alex Gyetvai 2

 

Kenilworth were out of the blocks early in this game and from the kick off attacked Lutterworth and through 2/3 phases of play reach the L's 22. Lutterworth then knocked on and from the resulting scrum the ball was passed swiftly to Bailey playing Inside Centre who broke through the defence to score. 5 Nil. No Conversion 2 mins.

The resulting kick off saw more of the same, with Kenilworth taking the game to Lutterworth. This time Lutterworth were penalised on halfway and Kens kicked for the corner. K's won a clean ball and the ball was moved to Bailey who scored again. 8 mins. 10 Nil no conversion.

Lutterworth then came back at the kick off and established better position from a knock on by Kens at the kick off. A driving maul and 2 penalties, eventually resulted in the large L's pack bursting over the line to score. 11 mins 5/10.

A period of play then ensued where the Kenilworth pack re energised by the return from injury of Matt Slater stormed up the field, off loading and making holes. Eventually Lutterworth infringed at the side of a ruck and the resulting penalty ball was kicked for the corner. A long throw at the lineout, saw Ken play 2 phases and over for Matt Slater in front of the posts. 20 Mins. Alex converted 17/5.

At 26 mins the first controversy occurred when a penalty was awarded against Kenilworth for not releasing. However, the player penalised was not the tackler and had legally challenged for the ball clearly on his feet. Something not quite right there. The ball was kicked to the corner and L's drove over to score and convert. 17/12.

5 mins later in open play Kens made a silly long pass that was intercepted and the Lutterworth player ran the field to score under the posts. 19/17.

Half time.

Both team came out in the second half determined to win and the tackle count increased notably.

A dangerous tackle by Lutterworth resulted in a penalty in the L's half and the ball was kicked for the corner. Kenilworth played many phases of play from the resulting procession and again were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Electing not to kick, the ball was taken on, but not scored however 2 phases on, Joy went over to score under the posts. 19/22 Plus conversion by Gyetvai 24/22. 12 mins s/h

Lutterworth now started to put pressure on Kenilworth and brought back a player who had been playing for the 3rds a big prop, on the adjacent pitch. Inevitably this made an impact, however, largely he was contained.

At 19 mins s/h Kenilworth let down their guard and the L's No 10 beat 5 tackles to score under the post against the run of play. Disaster . Conversion made 26/24.

For the next 20 mins Kenilworth made all the running in attack as Lutterworth tired. In the final 3 minutes a great move put Hector Smith over in the corner, as previously reported only for it not to be awarded. Its a good thing it was only a friendly.

 

OLD LEAMINGTONIANS 2/3’s  10   KENILWORTH 2/3’s  64

Despite the Arctic conditions the Cavaliers managed to produce a display that ultimately overpowered and outpaced a game but understrength Old Leams side.

Cavaliers Manager Elmer Fudd Turner had assembled a fair squad with a mix of grizzly experience and fearless youth, ably led by new skipper Dan T-Rex Roberts 

The tone was set from the kick off, which was spilled by OLs, hacked on by Cedric "NTamack" Bonnet and finished with Gallic aplomb. Lewis Phillips failed to talk the kick over but was relatively successful with his place kicking for the rest of the day - his kicking from hand had more slices than Hovis however.

With the impressive Arthur Haynes providing sound service from scrum half, Lewis Phillips was able to utilise the pace and power outside him , avoiding contact with his rather stout opposite number. The mercurial Jimmy Middleton, on day release from family duties, terrorised the OLs defence and helped himself to a hat trick - celebrated by a display of Nausea on the half way line, much to the shock of his young, impressionable team mates.

It was clear that if the Cavaliers stuck to the basics and used their big ball carriers to commit the home defence, then the space would open up pretty quickly. Step forward the youthful triumvirate of Paul Fountaine, Ian Phillips and Dom Carrick (combined age of about 122 years!) who repeatedly punched wholes into committed but overpowered OLs defence.

A textbook catch and drive, with Fountaine leaping like an aged tinned salmon to take young hooker Will (tie and chino) Blakeman's excellent throw, was well driven by Matt Jenkins and the rest of the pack. The veteran poacher Dom Carrick unashamedly stole the ball at the back of the maul and drove over for  the try.

Some scrappy play was not assisted by both sides inability to adapt to the referee's particularly strict enforcement of the contact laws - Captain Roberts imploring his side to take a grip and step up the work rate and concentration levels. 

The quiet, reserved Carrick ignored this and subsequently dropped a sitter of a kick off, much to the amusement of the OLs home supporters - his claim that he wished it had been a trickier catch as he's good at those fell on deaf and indifferent ears. However this useless piece of inadequate play was soon to be atoned for.

From a penalty in centre field it was decided that unleashing Frisky Fountaine was a better option that Hovis Phillips slicing another kick to the corner - like an angry ageing Giraffe, Fountaine tore into the heart of the OLs defence, quick ruck ball was produced and good hands from Hovis and Andy Logan (who seems to have had a very good Christmas) released a galloping Dom Carrick hitting the line at some sort of pace - with the line in his sights the flailing attempts of the covering OLs full back were always going to be in vain as Carrick nonchalantly skipped round the posts, much to the delight of his team mates and intense disappointment of Manager Fudd.

Hooker Blakeman and props Andrew and Jack Hurst did well to steady an unsettled scrummage and worked well in the loose and replacements Wylie and Ronan also got around the park well in the 2nd half.

Josh O Brien at centre provided the gas and guile outside the brawn and bullish belligerence of Logan - his broken play running was impressive and led many onlookers to question his parentage with his so called Dad  - Mad Mick O Brien watching proudly, happy that his propping genes had not been passed on to his pacy son. Josh scooted over for a couple of tries with some impressive broken play running - Hovis Phillips also dotting down.

Ian Phillips was enjoying time and space from Number 8 and went on a number of gallops from the base - nearly linking up with his partner in grime, the returning Drew "snuffmaster" Dingley - unfortunately the combination of Phillips' offloading skills and Dingley's distinct lack of suppleness caused the ball to predictably go the ground.

As the ref blew early for time the players gathered to reflect on a job well done and a relatively good start to 2015 - certainly better than the first half of the season. With Manager Fudd's ability to put together a competitive squad and the return of a few old timers, combined with the undeniable skill and pace of the young'uns the rest of the season is certainly looking more promising.

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