KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth are top of the Midlands 2 West (South) league table this Christmas after a 20-5 bonus-point victory over bottom side Old Coventrians in miserable conditions at Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
Kidderminster have been level on points with Kenilworth for the past few weeks so it was crucial for the Glasshouse Lane side to secure the full five points to see in the new year in top spot. With a strong breeze, cold temperatures and heavy rain, the conditions were always going to be difficult but the hosts outscored Old Coventrians four tries to one to seal the win.
However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring to give themselves an early lead. With ten minutes on the clock, Old Coventrians made the most of possession in the Kenilworth 22 to burrow over for the first try of the afternoon for a 5-0 lead.
With the conditions worsening as the half progressed, Kenilworth grew into the match and the following ten minutes of play saw the hosts have the majority of possession and territory. It was during this stage that Kenilworth edged closer to the Old Coventrians line and having created an overlap on the right, Ollie Sharples dived over in the corner top open his side's account and level the scores.
As half time approached, Kenilworth were looking to add to their earlier score when tempers flared. As a result, Old Coventrians found themselves down to 14 men for the remainder of the match after a prop was shown a red card while Kenilworth also went down to 14 men for 10 minutes following a yellow card.
Kenilworth came out strongly in the second half, taking the lead after 47 minutes of play. A five metre line out led to a rolling maul and centre Ed Hannam touched down on the left to give his side a 10-5 lead.
A third try followed after 59 minutes, this time through captain Bobby Thompson. Kenilworth were awarded a 5m scrum after applying more pressure from a 5m line out. The pack drove towards the line and number eight Thompson went over from the base to extend his side's advantage to 15-5.
As the match entered the closing stages Kenilworth were looking for that all important bonus point and it came with just over two minutes to play. The ball was kicked through and scrum half Gareth Renowden used his pace to chase the ball and touch down to the right of the posts. That try gave sealed a 20-5 victory for Kenilworth with the full five points seeing Kenilworth sit top of the league over the festive period.
Kenilworth are next in league action on Saturday 5th January when Rugby St Andrews travel to Glasshouse Lane for the first league fixture of 2019.