KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth continued their unbeaten start to the league season under David Ellis, with a 59-21 victory over Barkers' Butts at Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
In slippery conditions, Kenilworth put an impressive ten tries past Barkers' to ensure they secured their fourth consecutive bonus point victory of the 2018/19 campaign.
The try scoring started with just three minutes showing on the clock when centre Charlie Stevens found a hole in the Barkers' defence on the left wing to sneak over in the corner.
That lead was doubled with ten minutes played when Mikkel Andresen powered over from close range to give his side a 10-0 advantage.
Alex Selby then showed some great vision with a perfectly weighted kick through to take his side deep into the Barkers' 22. Strong work from the pack then moved the ball in-field and over the line with flanker Sam Harrison touching down. Ed Hannam's conversion put his side into a 17-0 lead with 23 minutes gone.
Barkers' looked dangerous at times during the first forty, however, and their efforts in the first half were rewarded after 25 minutes of play when they crossed for their first try of the match. The visitors set up a counter attack on the right wing to score in the corner, with the successful conversion closing the gap to ten points.
Hannam then added another three points with the boot as the half hour mark approached, before Kenilworth secured the bonus point after 32 minutes. Winger Ollie Burman showed some superb skills to twist his way through the defence and score after his side made an excellent break from just inside the opposition 22.
That try made the score 25-7 before Kenilworth hit the 30-point mark straight from the restart. Scrum half Gareth Renowden was on hand to support Andresen after the back row showed his pace to cut through the Barkers' defence. The offload put the oncoming Renowden into space to give Kenilworth a 30-7 advantage.
With the half time whistle approaching, Kenilworth had time for one last try which was once again began with a break from Andresen, this time up the left wing. Good work from the forwards nudged their side closer to the line before Hannam went over for a 35-7 half time lead.
Barkers' continued to push for their second try of the match as the second half began and Kenilworth soon found themselves down to 14 men. Harrison was shown a yellow card after 50 minutes for being off his feet at the ruck.
That gave Barkers' the opportunity to add to their score, but Kenilworth's defence held firm for the majority of the sin-bin period. The one man deficit eventually proved too much, however, and Barkers' opened up the hosts' defence, creating space on the right to score. The successful conversion made the score 35-14 with just over 20 minutes to play.
Restored to a full compliment, Kenilworth found themselves in the Barkers' 22 for a sustained period. Their patience paid off when Harry Abell went over in the right-hand corner from the back of a maul after a five metre line out to take his side up to the 40-point mark with 18 minutes to play.
A great break from the hosts just three minutes later then took them deep into Barkers' territory once again, with good hands from centre Tom Naismith releasing Bobby Thompson into space to score his side's eighth of the match. The successful conversion added the extras to extend Kenilworth's lead to 47-14 with 65 minutes played.
The visitors responded immediately in their search for the bonus point, with their third try scored out wide to close the gap to 47-21 following the successful conversion.
It wasn't to be, however, with Andresen showing his strength to break through tackles on the right wing to touch down once again, with the try duly converted. Thompson then completed the scoring with his second of the afternoon, finding space in midfield and breaking through tackles to touch down for a 59-21 victory.
That result leaves Kenilworth top of Midlands 2 West (South), level on points with Kidderminster who also remain unbeaten.
Next up for Kenilworth is the visit of Wolverhampton to Glasshouse Lane in the second round of the Intermediate Cup. Kick off is at 3pm.