KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth Ladies travelled to Bletchley on Sunday for their second league meeting this season, coming away with a 57-21 defeat, writes Aisling Straver.
I was the first of two back-to-back matches against the Buckinghamshire side and it was Bletchley that backed up their win at Glasshouse Lane before a return trip to Kenilworth in the Intermediate Cup on Sunday.
With Kenilworth kicking off, the ball was well-collected by Bletchley and after just two minutes the hosts were on the scoreboard with a try to give them a 7-0 lead. Kenilworth began to get into the game and held the hosts out on their own five metre line however a quick step from the Bletchley captain saw the hosts break through and score just to the right of the posts. The conversion was good for a 14-0 lead.
A mere three minutes later Bletchley’s inside centre intercepted and broke from the hosts 22 while Kenilworth were on the attack to score under the posts for a 21-point cushion after 13 minutes played. The hosts then scored a further two tries in seven minutes to bring the score to 33-0 after just 20 minutes.
In the twenty minutes before the break, Kenilworth eventually got into their stride, stringing together a few promising phases to almost cross the line. However, Kenilworth’s improvement coincided with Bletchley stepping up their defensive game and Kenilworth couldn’t find a way through as the half came to a close with Bletchley leading by 33-0.
The hosts kicked off the second half but Kenilworth knock the ball on allowing Bletchley to have their first set piece of the second half. From the resulting scrum the hosts broke through the Kenilworth defence for a 38-0 lead through their sixth try of the afternoon.
Kenilworth continued to apply pressure to the hosts’ defence and started to regain the momentum they had at the end of the opening forty. The hosts kicked to clear from their lines from their own 22 but the ball was caught by Kenilworth’s Maddie Rendell. The full back made no mistake in beating the Bletchley defence with some superb footwork before running through the Bletchley defence. Having been caught at the last moment, she offloaded to the supporting Rebecca Hill and Kenilworth’s captain went over for her side’s first of the match. The successful conversion from Rebecca Lewis gave Kenilworth the full seven points.
The visitors then ramped up the pressure once again and after some hard-fought phases from the Ladies, hooker Siobhan Allison-Moore went over for her side’s second try. Lewis once again added the extras as Kenilworth cut the deficit to 38-14.
Despite Kenilworth working well in attack during the second half to cut the gap to 24 points, Bletchley hadn’t finished yet and the hosts another thanks to a breakthrough runner bringing the score to 45 - 14 following the successful conversion with 20 minutes remaining.
With the match seemingly beyond them, Kenilworth still had a few tricks up their sleeve. A grubber from Lewis tested the Bletchley defence and Rendell was on hand to chase the bouncing ball. With Bletchley’s full back rushing over to defend, Rendell kicked the ball on just in time and couldn’t be caught, diving on the ball over the line to score. Lewis then finishes what she started with her third conversion to make the score 45-21.
As the match entered the final stages, there were two more tries from the hosts as Bletchley secured a 57-21 victory to close the gap on table-toppers Buckingham Swans who suffered an 18-15 defeat at West Bridgford.
Next up for Kenilworth is another fixture against Bletchley, this time in the Intermediate Cup. The match will take place on Sunday at Glasshouse Lane.