KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth Ladies fought back from 12-0 down at half time to secure a well-deserved 19-19 all draw against Birmingham Moseley at Glasshouse Lane on Sunday to increase the gap between them and bottom side Old Leamingtonians, writes Christie Foster.
Birmingham Moseley travelled to Glasshouse Lane after a long break in league fixtures for both sides, with Kenilworth wanting to start strong after failing to do so let them down last time in a 36-17 defeat when the teams last met.
Kenilworth were the first to receive the kick off and made significant inroads moving the ball into the Birmingham Moseley defence, most notably by Sophie Henry on the wing, followed by some big carries from the pack. Unfortunately, this was to be thwarted by an alert Birmingham Moseley back line as their outside centre managed to intercept a Kenilworth pass and then proceed to run the length of the pitch to score the first points of the match under the posts. The subsequent conversion gave the away team a 7-0 lead.
This raised Birmingham Moseley’s game and they started the next play with some aggressive running while also showing dominance in the breakdown areas. Kenilworth struggled to absorb the pressure and gave away a series of unlucky penalties which then allowed the visitors to progress down the field. The Birmingham Moseley pack continued to dominate the breakdown and, even with great defensive pressure from Kenilworth on their own 5m line, they managed to put a drive on which resulted in a forwards try in the corner.
Physical play between both sides made it an even contest following this try with no further scores leading up to half time as Moseley took a 12-0 lead into the break.
The second half continued in the same way with a battle, with both sides fighting for dominance as Kenilworth looked extremely dangerous with ball in hand. A Kenilworth scrum came out on top, putting pressure on the Moseley pack, followed by some huge hits from outside centre Phoebe Howles that prevented Moseley’s dangerous back three from making any ground.
Kenilworth started to take the upper hand and Birmingham Moseley started to concede many penalties, allowing Kenilworth to work their down the pitch. A great line out take by Alexandra Clay and a dominant drive by the Kenilworth pack allowed prop Rebecca Lewis to drop over the line. This was the start of Kenilworth’s point scoring in the match with score at 12-5 to the visitors.
There was no letting up by Birmingham Moseley who got the ball to their pacey full back who’s devastating run and amazing stepping finding every inch of space in Kenilworth’s defence to score under the posts. The simple conversion was added to extend their lead to 19-5.
With 20 minutes left, Kenilworth did not let their heads drop and came back fighting, determined to get some points on the scoreboard. Moseley’s frustration turned into ill-discipline with a dangerous tackle on Kenilworth captain Rebecca Hill which was followed by a series of high tackles from Birmingham Moseley. The Kenilworth backs then managed to pass the ball down the line to speedy winger Henry who charged towards the line. The visitors could only stop her with a very high tackle which gave the referee no other option than to award a penalty try, as Kenilworth closed the gap to 19-12.
With just minutes remaining, Kenilworth were on the charge again. Some great running from the hosts’ back line saw Madeleine Rendell and Felicity Baldwin make significant strides forward. It was Howles who was able to penetrate the defence and a storming run saw her score under the posts. Lewis comfortably added the simple conversion for a final score of 19-19 as Kenilworth secured some crucial league points as the end of the season fast approaches.
Kenilworth Ladies are next in action on Sunday 3rd March as they travel to Wymondham Wasps.