Kenilworth Rugby Club

Kenilworth come out top in tight Worcester Wanderers match

Kenilworth 1st XV remain at the top of the Midlands 1 West after closing down a solid Worcester Wanderers side with a 28-24 victory to keep up their long home winning run at Glasshouse Lane this weekend, writes Cath Lyon.

Despite being third from bottom, the visitors struck early in what turned out to be a very tight match. They were successful with an early penalty that was levelled by a Kenilworth penalty from Will Davies. Worcester then went ahead again with another penalty from the boot of their talented fly-half Tom Biggs but were then unsuccessful from a further attempt. Kenilworth were under pressure from the big Wanderers pack but managed to break out with Jack Scott passing to winger Olie Burman for their opening try. The conversion was missed so Kenilworth led 8-6 only for the Wanderers to re-take the lead with a further penalty to make it 8-9 and all within the opening 15 minutes!   

Although much of the opening forty was played in Kenilworth’s half, the well drilled Kenilworth defence held out and a slick interception and try from outside centre Bryn Grantham, who ran ¾ the length of the pitch, took them up to 15-9 with half time approaching. The try was converted by Will Davies.

A yellow card for second row Connor Burnet towards the end of the first half threatened to throw Kens off balance but the score remained at 15-9 at the break.

The second half opened much the same as the first with Worcester exerting a lot of pressure through their big forwards. A penalty was conceded which Worcester kicked to the corner and from the resultant line-out they caught and drove over. The conversion was missed and it was game on again at 15-14 to the hosts. Worcester continued to press but more good defence from Kenilworth saved the day on a number of occasions. On a foray into the Worcester half a long range penalty was won and young Will Davies took it on only for it to drift wide. Kenilworth then started to play in the Worcester half and on 60 mins they scored their third try with No8 Tom Naismith finishing off a fine forward dominated effort. The conversion was missed and the score was 20-14 with the rain starting to fall.

Worcester never gave up and after a period of pressure they won a kickable penalty which they, rather surprisingly, chose to kick to touch. They caught and drove over. The missed conversion set the game at 20-19 going into the closing 15 minutes. It was anyone’s game at this stage. However it was Kenilworth who again took the initiative when a charge down kick was collected by Ed Hannam for a welcome fourth (and bonus point try). Again the conversion was missed but at 25-19 going into the closing minutes the large home crowd were happy. However Worcester refused to concede defeat and came back strongly with an unconverted try to make it 25-24 going into injury time. Sensible play by Kenilworth saw out the remaining minutes in the Worcester half and when the referee blew for a penalty out wide to Kenilworth young Will Davies took it on and was successful to close the pulsating game out at 28-24 and a bonus point win.

This was a tremendous result for Kenilworth who were missing inspirational captain Bobby Thompson (ankle), back row Mikkel Andresen (international duty with Denmark) and prop Jake Dodd.

Next weekend Kenilworth are back at home to face bottom club Kidderminster.

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