KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kidderminster 17 Kenilworth 42
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Delayed by a week thanks to Storm Dennis, Kenilworth travelled to Kidderminster in search of a table-topping bonus point win, and this they achieved. A gusty cross-wind made its presence felt but the visitors, in front of a very big travelling support, succeeded in their aim, claiming a well-earned 42 – 17 victory to go top of Mids 1 west.
Kenilworth started with Danish Internationalist, Victor Hounou, making his debut on the wing. Kidderminster kicked off and launched an early attack. Kenilworth soaked it up and from their scrum shipped the ball to Tom Naismith who made a great run, allowing Gareth Renowden to cross for five points within as many minutes. Jayde Cruickshank converted successfully for a 7 – 0 lead.
The next period of play saw both sides fighting hard for some points. Two superb runs from winger Ollie Burman (the second from a clever interception) kept the home team defending. Kidderminster pressed hard, going through phases but Kenilworth held them at the halfway line, new winger Victor Hounou prominent in both attack and defence. An early injury to Ed Hannam saw him replaced by Rhys Jones. The second breakthrough came with 35 mins on the clock; some clever footwork from Sam Morris, swift movement of the ball across field to Sam Harrison for a try under the posts, converted by Jayde. 14 – 0. Kenilworth maintained the pressure right from the restart and from a Kidderminster scrum, Bobby Thompson offloaded to Rhys Jones and onwards to Tom Naismith for a third try, with Jayde adding the extras and a 21 – 0 lead. An extended delay for an injury to Kidderminster’s winger just before the whistle was followed by a well-worked home try, bring the half to a close at 21 – 5.
Kenilworth kicked off for the second half with the wind having died down but the intensity of both sides remained high. Flanker Sam Harrison suffered a severe hand injury and was replaced by Ryka Sekhavati with Captain Bobby Thompson moving to centre. A Kenilworth scrum - eight minutes in - provided the bonus point with Bobby crashing forward and supplying Jayde with the ball that he crossed with under the posts in style. He duly converted to add the full seven points and a 28 – 5 advantage. Jayde then secured a further seven points after he collects the ball at the 22, and forces through the defence like a wrecking ball. His boot then adds the extras for a 35 – 5 tally. Just three minutes afterwards – following some great play from Rhys Jones and Tondi Mpambawashe that so nearly resulted in a try – Bobby Thompson secured the ball from scrum five metres out and crossed for a try. Jayde again added the extras. 42 – 5.
The wind was back and gusting again, with some light rain too. Kidderminster were pushing hard still and their reward cam after half an hour with a well-worked try. 42 – 12. Just five minutes later and the home side crossed again, but credit to Rhys Jones whose tackle forced the knock-on, denying the home side their third. They sensed that a try bonus point was still in their grasp though and through everything at the dying minutes of the game. An interesting offside decision provided them with a kick to corner and a great try from the lineout. They wanted more but the whistle blew with the scoreboard at 42 -17.
The win sets up a very big league encounter this Saturday at Glasshouse Lane when Kenilworth take on second placed Lichfield in front of our Former Players.