KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth got their league campaign back on track on Saturday with a 21-7 victory over Evesham at a cold and wet Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
Following a disappointing defeat at the hands of Earlsdon the previous weekend, David Ellis' third-placed side knew they needed to secure victory to remain hot on the heels of both Kidderminster and Earlsdon.
In slippery conditions at Glasshouse Lane, it was never going to be an afternoon for free-flowing rugby. Despite this, the opening 25 minutes saw both sides gain good field position, but handling errors prevented either side from capitalising on their hard-earned territory gains.
There were 27 minutes on the clock before any points went on the board and it was Kenilworth who took the lead. The hosts were awarded a penalty just outside the Evesham 22 and this time ensured they came away with the full seven points following Alex Selby's kick to the corner.
A strong forward drive followed by good hands took the ball out wide and winger Ollie Burman crossed on the right. Josh Emery then added the extras to give his side a 7-0 lead.
The remainder of the second half saw Kenilworth press for a second try and, as half time approached, they doubled their advantage.
A superb looping run up the left from Josh Emery took the ball deep into the Evesham 22. The ball then made its way out to the left with Bobby Thompson falling just short of the line. However, centre Ed Hannam was on hand to collect the ball and dive over the line to score his side's second. The conversion from Emery gave Kenilworth a 14-0 lead.
Despite half time fast approaching there was still time for Kenilworth to extend their lead. The hosts once again took the ball into the Evesham 22 with Gareth Renowden spotting a gap in the defence to jink through and score. Emery added the conversion from the tee to put Kenilworth into a commanding 21-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw Evesham start the brightest, with the visitors crossing after just two minutes of play. Having kicked off the second half, the Evesham ensured the ball stayed in Kenilworth territory. A five metre line out followed and Evesham found a way through the Kenilworth defensive line to touch down to the right of the posts. The successful conversion closed the gap to 14 points with 38 minutes to play.
The remainder of the match saw few opportunities for either side to add to their totals, with Kenilworth coming closest in the last play of the match. The hosts had worked their way into the Evesham half through quick hands only for the ball to be knocked on with the try line begging, as the matched ended 21-7 to Kenilworth.
That meant there would be no try bonus point for Kenilworth, but the victory ensures that they remain in touching distance of league rivals Kidderminster and Earlsdon in the top three.
Next up for Kenilworth is a trip to Southam on Saturday (3rd November). Kick off is at 2:15pm.
Elsewhere at Kenilworth, the 2nd XV secured a 61-12 victory over Old Coventrians in the 2nd XV Warwickshire Shield. The Ladies were also victorious to reach the third round of the Intermediate Cup with a 28-19 victory over Crewe & Nantwich.