Kenilworth Stun Hereford

Kenilworth 1st XV 16 - 5 Hereford

Last Updated: Apr 6, 2016 08:15am
Kenilworth, Warwick
By Sophie Freestone
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Kenilworth returned to winning ways on Saturday with a well deserved 16-5 victory over promotion seeking Hereford at sunny Glasshouse Lane. It was a welcome victory for Kenilworth who had suffered heavy defeats in both of their previous two (away) matches, including a 45-10 defeat away to Hereford just three weeks before this latest encounter, writes Sophie Freestone.
The match started perfectly for Kenilworth with a try after just six minutes. Having made their way up to the Hereford 22, winger Charlie Preston broke through the Hereford defence, brushing off two defenders, to score on the right. Hickman's conversion was successful to give the home side an early 7-0 lead. Hereford were down to 14 men for a late tackle in the build up to the try.
The match remained scoreless until just before the half hour mark, with Hereford missing a number of opportunities to level the scores through handling errors and a strong defensive effort from Kenilworth. The visitors eventually scored a try of their own in the right hand corner. The difficult conversion was pulled wide of the uprights to keep Kenilworth ahead with a two point advantage.
With the end of the first half fast approaching, Hereford once again butchered opportunities to take the lead as Kenilworth's defence continued to hold firm. Hickman made Hereford pay for their mistakes with a penalty on 38 minutes followed by a second on the stroke of half time to give the home side a 13-5 lead at the break.
Kenilworth made a strong start to the second half but soon found themselves on the wrong end of a Hereford attack. Their defence continued to perform well however, and the ball was stolen on their own 22 for a counter attack which took them inside the Hereford half. Play was brought back for a Hereford scrum on halfway after the kick was slightly overcooked.
That did not hold Kenilworth back, however, and as the 60 minute mark approached they were awarded another penalty, this time on half way, for Hereford being in an offside position. With the match still within Hereford's reach, Hickman opted to go for the posts and his superb kick sailed through the uprights to give Kenilworth a comfortable 16-5 lead.
The match was then halted for approximately an hour after one of Hereford's players (centre Mark Philo) suffered a serious leg injury which required urgent medical attention before and after the ambulance arrived. The injury has since been diagnosed as a dislocated ankle and broken tibia and fibia.
With the match once again underway through a Hereford scrum just metres from the Kenilworth try line, the home side's set piece responded superbly to stave off any threat from Hereford in another superb defensive effort.
This was followed by an excellent kick on 69 minutes which really put Hereford under pressure, before scrum half Gaz Renowden was unfortunate to not be awarded a try with nine minutes to go with the referee out of position as he made his way for the line.
This did not deter Kenilworth however, as they continued to apply pressure to the Hereford defence, before Hereford were once again reduced to 14 men for stamping which resulted in a penalty being overturned in Kenilworth's favour. Hickman's 73rd minute attempt from the touch line was just wide of the uprights to leave the score at 16-5.
Despite Hereford's efforts they were unable to score a try and earn an all important bonus point, as Kenilworth deservedly secured their first win against Hereford since their National League 3 encounter February 2011.


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