KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth suffered a 50-20 defeat to Lichfield IIs at Glasshouse Lane on Sunday in their first match of 2019, writes Aisling Straver.
Kenilworth started the match strongly with number eight Caroline Spence making a break only for a knock on to give possession back to Lichfield. After some hard-fought phases, Lichfield found their way to the line and the conversion gave the visitors a 7-0 lead after ten minutes.
The hosts came back hard at Lichfield, however, and a mistake from an under-pressure Lichfield made gave Kenilworth a penalty and the opportunity to gain some valuable field position. With the ball kicked to touch, Spence once again made a break. The ball then made its way to captain Rebecca Hill and Siobhan Allison-Moore through some beautiful offloads but a knock on gave away the chance of a first Kenilworth try.
Outside centre Phoebe Howles seized the opportunity to turn the ball over, however, and Kenilworth regained their momentum. After some superb work by the forwards, the ball quickly made its way out to the backs where they were released to sprint down the field. Howles offloaded to full back Felicity Baldwin who took those extra few yards before offloading to Aisling Straver who dived over in the corner. The missed conversion from Rebecca Lewis meant Lichfield held a slender two-point lead.
Lichfield responded with a try ten minutes later after a dummy from the fly half. That was followed by an offload to their number eight who scored between the posts for a 14-5 advantage after 25 minutes.
Kenilworth then came back just five minutes later after some more brilliant work from the back line. A gap opened up for a perfectly timed offload from Hill to Spence as the hosts gained considerable ground. The powerful number eight was brought down but Allison-Moore was on hand to receive ball before sending a quick pass to Holly Glover to touch down to close the gap to 14-10.
A further two tries from Lichfield took the visitors’ tally up to 26 points at the break, with Kenilworth also adding to their earlier scores through Howles. Kenilworth turned the ball over in open play and shifted it out to the backs with Howles adding her side’s third for a 26-15 score line at the break.
With the second half underway, Kenilworth continued to pressurise the Lichfield defence. An up-field kick from Lewis was chased down by Straver, forcing the visitors’ full back into a knock on. Kenilworth’s pack put on a powerful drive towards the line before Lewis went low to score her first Kenilworth try and cut the gap to just six points.
Kenilworth could not hold on, however, with the hosts unable to cope with Lichfield’s experience and change in tactics. Lichfield’s players slipped through the defensive line on multiple occasions, crossing for a further four tries to secure a 50-20 victory.
Kenilworth’s next fixture is on Sunday (13th January) with third-placed Buckingham Swans making the trip to Glasshouse Lane. Kick off is at 2pm.