Dreary season comes to a damp end for Ks
OLD HALESONIANS 14 KENILWORTH 0
Kenilworth’s relegation from Midlands One was confirmed at the splendid Wassell Grove headquarters of Old Halesonians, writes Bob Jones.
Rain and a chill wind made ball-handling treacherous, with inevitable consequences for both sides.
However, following on from the previous week’s defeat against Whitchurch, this was a marked all-round improvement by Kenilworth against the team who finished the season third in the table.
Before all those in a sizeable crowd had taken their seats, the home side had touched down and converted, leaving the few visiting supporters fearing the worst.
Their fears proved ill-founded, though, with the return of Gareth Renowden to his familiar scrum-half position, plus the inclusion of wily old campaigner Jamie Peacock at full-back helping stabilise the visitors.
And, while they created little, with the aid of the slippery ball they did a more than adequate job of containing the stream of attacks that materialised during the first quarter.
For the remainder of the half, they posed more of an attacking threat, with a typical Bobby Thompson surge and Renowden break, the highlights.
Referee Chris Rogers, who had a good game, was kept busy by a series of offences and errors as both sides probed for openings.
From the outset of the second half, the Old Halesonians forwards, hitherto contained, began to turn the screw, notably in the tight.
Increasingly forced to live off scraps as a result, Kenilworth did well when opportunities arose.
A Nyle Beckett dash, carried on by Will Owen and Ross Lowthian close to the home line, ended with a penalty to Old Hales for not releasing.
Then a tap-and-go, orchestrated by Jonny Openshaw and Jonny Cresswell, induced panic in the home ranks.
The Worcestershire outfit engineered a good move through their pack, which was thwarted by a timely Peacock intervention.
As the game entered its final quarter, the classiest break of the contest came from Owen.
Receiving the ball in his own 22, he employed the full skill-set in progressing to near the home equivalent. With the cover closing in, a deft punt saw Adam Clifford in hot pursuit, but the ball went forward as the line beckoned.
With a prolonged hailstorm in full flow, the error and penalty count continued to mount.
Pressure in the set-piece eventually led to a second try for Old Halesonians with four minutes of normal time remaining. Having got the put-in after disrupting a Ks scrum in their 22, a drive to near the line was finished with a neat snipe.
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Weather for Leamington
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: West