KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth 48 Old Halesonians 23
Kenilworth made hard work of the first-half against their visitors from Halesowen, returning to the changing room with a one-point advantage. The second-half, though, witnessed five tries for the home side and an impressive 48 – 23 bonus-point win, writes Phil Morris.
Kenilworth kicked-off into the low winter sun and showed their intent from the off. Their early pressure kept play in Old Halesonians’ 22. Just five minutes in though, the visitors ripped the ball from an exposed Kenilworth player and their winger gassed it all the way to both the line and a 5-point lead.
The two sides battled on, with Kenilworth looking more threatening when in possession, but it was feeling like hard work for no reward. At the 15-minute mark, Kenilworth secured a lineout, formed a maul and swiftly shipped the ball out to Nyle Beckett, and then finally Ollie Burman for his opening try. Ed Hannam missed the conversion, leaving the scores even at 5 - 5. Old Halesonians secured a penalty kick on goal and took a 5 – 8 lead with 20 minutes played.
Kenilworth continued to show some attacking promise but were unable to convert it to points. Old Hales responded, putting Kenilworth under pressure and testing the home side’s defence. A breakthrough came in the form of a perfectly timed interception and sprint over the line from Gareth Renowden, with Hannam adding the extras for a 12 – 8 lead. The first-half ended with a penalty kick for Old Hales, narrowing the gap to just one point at 12 – 11.
The sun was fading, the wind picking up and the start of the second-half felt different. Hannam slotted an early penalty kick for a 15-11 lead and shortly afterwards, full back Garrett Bell broke through to score a try, with Hannam securing two more and a 22 – 11 lead. Kenilworth’s second of the half came from another lineout and maul, scored by Burman and with a good conversion kick from Hannam. 29 – 11. Kenilworth struck again just 10 minutes later with their fourth try, scored by Sam Harrison, coming from another lineout and maul. Hannam again adding the extras. 36 – 11. Five rather scrappy minutes of rugby followed but then another score and a completed hat-trick from Burman (not converted) gave Kenilworth their fifth try and a healthy-looking lead at 41 – 11. Kenilworth turned the screw further as Mikkel Andresen made a powerful run, passing to Renowden for another score with Hannam nudging over for 2 more and a 48 – 11 score-line.
The visitors fought hard in the final minutes of the game and secured two late tries (the last from a well-taken interception) to close the gap slightly, with the final score standing at 48 – 23.
Next Sat, 14th Dec, Kenilworth face a trip to fourth place Stoke to conclude the first half of the season.