Fat lady clears her throat after Kenilworth’s latest defeat
WHITCHURCH 38 KENILWORTH 13
KENILWORTH’s Midlands One West survival fight limped into the final week of the season despite another disappointing display at a wet and windy Whitchurch, writes Bon Jones.
However, it would need the unlikely scenario of Ludlow failing to secure a point from their home clash with whipping boys Dunlop and Kenilworth gaining five from their visit to Old Halesonians to save the Glasshouse Lane outfit from the drop.
After dominating much of the first half, and with a narrow lead at the interval, Ks lost their way against a side for whom a maximum-points haul ensured their safety.
The game opened in bizarre fashion with Phil Dickson forced to retire after falling untouched with just 30 seconds on the clock, Sam Flowers replacing him.
A few minutes later, a defensive howler by Catalin Graur in his own 22 let in Whitchurch for their first try, which was unconverted.
With the wind offering assistance, Ks responded with a Simon Tyler penalty goal after a collapsed scrum.
Nyle Beckett, Tyler and Bobby Thompson embarked on threatening runs before a ten-minute spell in which the visitors battered away at the Whitchurch line.
After several penalties, plus a yellow card to one of the Whitchurch props, referee Ben Ward awarded a penalty try, which Tyler converted.
A mistake by Alex Selby allowed his opposite number Matthews to cross for a try, which fly-half Nicholas converted in the 28th minute.
Four minutes later, a positive response from Kenilworth saw them regain the lead courtesy of another Tyler penalty goal, after Whitchurch had strayed offside.
More pressure by Ks led to another penalty award but this time Tyler was off-target with the kick at goal to leave Ks with a slender 13-12 half-time advantage.
Whitchurch were clearly fired up at the start of the second period and began to put together a series of moves which rattled their opponents.
With elusive full-back Henry Hockenhull in the van of many sorties, a score was sure to follow and it came in the 52nd minute.
The retirement of Nick Collett with a leg injury had a noticeable effect on the stability of the Kenilworth scrummage, while Whitchurch were also more effective at the breakdown, with number eight Robinson a constant threat with ball in hand.
The killer blows came in a five- minute spell at the start of the final quarter.
With Ks’ defence in disarray and the opposing backs lining up to take the scoring pass, three converted tries, two from captain Gardiner, put the contest well out of reach.
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Weather for Leamington
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: West