Second team progress to semi final with Southam win
Kenilworth's 2nd XV has reached the semi finals of the 2nd XV Warwickshire Shield with a 23-19 victory away to Southam on Sunday, writes Rich Allen.
Kenilworth approached the match against Southam with a strong starting line up, however Southam is always a hard place to get a result. Much like Kenilworth's 1st XV a couple of weeks ago the 2nd XV made hard work of the eventual win.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Neil Sutherland knocked over a penalty before Kenilworth were forced into a reshuffle after injuries to Jonny Openshaw and Dan Retter. Despite Kenilworth having the lion share of possession, it was Southam who scored the first try of the afternoon with a score under the posts that was duly converted.
With half time fast approaching, Southam extended their lead with another try under the posts. Kenilworth came back straight away with the perfect response, however, scoring their first of the match through Sam Williams. The full back went over in the corner for a half time score of 14-8 after the referee finally blew his half time whistle after 55 minutes just as Kenilworth were pushing for a second try in a frustrating half.
With a seven point deficit at the break to overcome, Kenilworth began to gain the upper hand in the set pieces as the second half got underway. From a five metre scrum the forwards pressured the Southam defence, rolling the Southam pack backwards, and Cory Joy dotted down for an unconverted try to close the gap to just a single point.
Ten minutes later, and after a period of sustained pressure in Southam territory, it was Williams who once again forced his way over to score his second, and Kenilworth's third, of the afternoon. With the conversion from Sutherland, Kenilworth held a slender 20-14 lead.
Neither side threatened to add to their scores until 10 minutes from the end when Southam scored a breakaway try from the half way line. The conversion would have given Southam the lead again but the kick was missed as Kenilworth remained ahead by the narrowest of margins.
With the last 10 minutes looking as if they could go either way, Kenilworth finally started to play the game in the right areas of the field. However, final decisions and the scrambled Southam defence kept the visitors at bay.
However, with just a couple of minutes remaining, Sutherland added a penalty. Kenilworth could then breathe a sigh of relief as the referee blew the final whistle with the visitors holding on to secure a 23-19 victory.
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